Undoubtedly, isaiah thomas is one of the best players of the 2016-17 NBA season. Proof of this is Kia’s NBA Most Valuable Player voting result last season where he placed fifth behind his new teammate, LeBron James. But the question is whether he can bring his A-game to Cleveland with his Hip Injury.

The Cavaliers front office led by GM Koby Altman remains steadfast about Isaiah’s return to hardcourt, though they did not impose any timetable. This is why game analysts and even the Cavs fans are asking - is Isaiah Thomas an asset or a liability for the Cavs’ campaign to recapture the NBA crown?

Boston Celtics’ weakness

The last pick of the 2011 NBA Draft has blossomed into one of the best offensive point guards in the league today. Last year, Isaiah led the Boston Celtics at the top of the East only to fall down against his new team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, during the Eastern Conference Finals.

Isaiah’s averaged 28.9 points per game during the regular season, placing him third behind 2017 scoring champion Russell Westbrook and James Harden. According to ESPN, Isaiah is third on Offensive Real Plus-Minus (OPRM) rating behind Stephen Curry and Westbrook.

Yet it proved that the Celtics’ weakness was Isaiah himself. Right after his monster performances in Games 1 and 2 of their series against Washington where he dropped 33 and 53 points, respectively, the Wizards applied tight defense on him during the next two games.

This leveled the series, two games apiece.

Weak defender

But probably the biggest adjustment the Cavaliers coaching staff should question is Isaiah’s lack of defense. The 28-year old 5’9” offensive machine placed dead last on ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus-Minus (DRPM) among 81 point guards in the league last season, dropping from -1.89 (45th) during the 2015-16 NBA season to a disappointing -3.89 (81st).

Jose Calderon and Derrick Rose, who both signed a one-year veteran’s minimum contract with the Cavs, placed 28th (-0.36) and 72nd (-2.36), respectively. In the spirit of fairness, Kyrie Irving was placed 70th with -2.30.

Nevertheless, Isaiah's lack in defense won’t be a problem in the near future. Reading Altman’s body language and the way he shot down questions about Isaiah’s hip injury during the recent Cavs press conference, they won’t be worrying about his defense anytime soon.

According to one NBA exec, the Cavs don't seem to have any idea as to when he will really be able to play.

Possible extent of Isaiah’s injury

According to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, a source with direct knowledge of Thomaship condition says that the injury is more than just a tear as some reports claim. The source claimed that Isaiah has played even while dealing with a loss of cartilage and arthritis which could affect his healing process.

“No one has any idea how quickly this will heal or if it even will heal at all. It’s hard to predict,” the source added. This could be the main reason why Altman said, “I don’t want to talk about a timeline right now.”