Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James has played with different point guards during his career. However, James and the Cavaliers are both placed under the microscope this season after they traded Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick. While the Celtics are thriving with Irving leading the way, the Cavs are struggling without Thomas, who is still recovering from a hip injury. According to Joe Vardon of, James saw similarities between Irving and Thomas as a player.

While he has yet to play with Thomas this season, James said he noticed a trait that is similar to his teammate of three years.

Thomas, Irving both fierce competitors

James said Thomas and Irving are both fierce competitors and love to play basketball, spending countless hours in the gym to further hone their skills. “They’re gym rats and when you’re a gym rat, that’s a great feeling,” said James. Last season, Thomas averaged 28.9 points per game as he led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals where they lost to the Cavaliers. Irving, for his part, averaged a career-best 25.2 points per outing. With Irving gone, the Cavaliers’ outside shooting has suffered. From being the 2nd-best three-point shooting team last season, the Cavaliers are now 16th with starting point guard Derrick Rose shooting just two triples per game.

Thomas believes he can adjust

When he returns in late December or early January, Thomas is expected to become a major contributor on offense for the Cavaliers. The 5-foot-9 point guard believes that he will adjust easily to the Cavaliers’ style of play and mesh with James on the court. Being a student of the game, Thomas said: “I'm going to be able to adjust quicker than somebody else could.” In addition, Thomas said he can help the team in terms of being a leader on the court and making everyone accountable.

Thomas said he will not be a liability on defense for the Cavaliers, saying he can put backcourt pressure on their opponents. Thomas admitted that he’s saddened by the Cavaliers’ struggles, saying if he could only suit up now, he would contribute to the team. “I'm impatient but I've got to be patient. I hope I'll be out there real soon,” said Thomas. Earlier, James said it’s unfair to put pressure on Thomas to lift the Cavaliers out of their current funk. Also, James wants Thomas to be in his best playing shape before he returns.