The season from health and safety protocols just keeps getting weirder.
The Mavericks no sooner got Isaiah Thomas into the fold on Wednesday before the 5-9 point guard was entered into the league’s COVID-19 protocols.
Old player or new, rookie or 11-year veteran. It doesn’t matter.
The Mavericks are up to eight players who are out for Friday’s rematch with the Sacramento Kings after Thomas was added to thelengthy and ever-changing health and safety protocols list.
Luka Dončić has not been cleared by the NBA. Neither has Maxi Kleber, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, Boban Marjanović, Brandon Knight and JaQuori McLaughlin, all of whom landed in protocols before Thomas.
Reggie Bullock was released on Wednesday and presumably will be available on Friday against the Kings as the Mavericks play their fourth of a five-game road trip.
If you include the games he missed tending to a left ankle problem, Dončić will miss his 10th consecutive game and his 14th overall this season. The Mavericks are 4-9 in the 13 games he’s been sidelined.
Thomas’ appearance on the injury report just extends what was a crazy stretch for him.
His 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Lakers ended on Dec. 26. He flew home to Seattle and was a grocery store on Wednesday morning with the Mavericks’ called and asked if he could play later that night.
“I was like, hell yeah, I can play,” Thomas said after getting in 13 minutes, six points and four assists in Wednesday’s 95-94 loss to the Kings.
Now, it’s unlikely he’ll play again and extremely likely that the Mavericks are beating the bushes for another player.
Thomas already had been welcomed into the fold, particularly by Jalen Brunson, who’s father Rick, who spent nine seasons in the NBA, mentored Thomas at an NBA camp nearly two decades ago when Thomas was a young teenager.
“I was probably 13, 14,” Thomas said. “I’m a fan of the game of basketball. So I know who Rick Brunson is. But I also got to build a relationship with him for a few weeks over time at a basketball camp. He’s been nothing but a plus, a mentor for me. He was somebody that was always in my corner and always gave me the best advice. I’m just glad to have been able to utilize that advice in my career.”
Times like that helped Thomas become a two-time all-star after being a No. 60 overall draft pick in 2011.
He said his experiences are enough to give him the sort of perspective that can help a team with lots of young players like the Mavericks.
“I’ve been in every situation possible in the NBA,” Thomas said. “I don’t know how many players in the NBA can honestly say they’ve been in every situation, whether that’s the franchise player, the sixth-man role, a role player off the bench or a guy who doesn’t even play.
“I’ve seen it all. I’m able to give that experience back to the younger guys. Whenever I can, I’m always able to lend a helping hand and give some wisdom just from experience.”
Unfortunately, that experience will have to come from afar for the rest of his 10-day contract.