1. Isaiah Thomas
Isaiah Thomas is the biggest name on this list, as he was a two-time All-Star and former All-NBA performer from his days with the Boston Celtics. The diminutive Thomas, who stands 5-foot-9, received MVP consideration for his 2016-17 season, in which he averaged 28.9 points, which was third-best in the league.
Thomas also averaged 5.9 assists during that season and became one of the most clutch players in the NBA, as he averaged 9.9 points in the fourth quarter during the 2016-17 season, earning the moniker of the “King in the Fourth”. Thomas’ scoring totals in the final period represented the highest scoring clip in the last 20 years leading up to that season.
Thomas was dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers prior to the start of the 2017-18 season, who sent Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for Thomas’ services. The season didn’t pan out like one would have imagined, as Thomas battled injuries before ultimately being dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers after just 15 games.
Thomas was signed by the Denver Nuggets in 2018-19 and appeared to be on the cusp of retirement, as he was a shell of himself, leading many to wonder if he would ever be able to return to a semblance of the former All-NBA guard. Thomas landed on the Washington Wizards during the 2019-20 season and appeared healthy and rejuvenated, as he averaged 12.2 points and 3.7 assists, while playing just 23 minutes per game.
Thomas also made 41.3 percent of his threes, which was a career-best, on a healthy 4.7 attempts per game. If Thomas is back to full health, the Rockets would be hard-pressed to find a more proven point guard on the market, and especially at a low cost, such as the veterans minimum.
For Thomas, the key to extending his career could be simply remaining in a reserve role, and playing around 20-22 minutes per night, which the Houston Rockets can afford to give him, due to their superstar backcourt. Thomas is a career 36.4 percent shooter from deep and although it seems as if he’s been in the league forever, he’s only 31-years-old and has reduced mileage, as he’s only played in 84 games out of a potential 236 games.
With Thomas’ clutch gene and his proven ability to contribute in the league, the Rockets should certainly give him a call, so long as he’s fully healthy.