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How the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers depends on the return of Isaiah Thomas


The return of Isaiah Thomas may be the biggest midseason acquisition by any NBA team this winter, and that’s no small concession, considering the Cleveland Cavaliers remain among the Eastern Conference elite. LeBron James is still Cleveland’s superhero for now, but whether Thomas becomes the trusty sidekick that Kyrie Irving was for the Cavs these past few years could determine the fate of the NBA. Thomas will make his Cavaliers debut off the bench against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night, playing for the first time since a hip injury ended his season prematurely for the Boston Celtics in the conference finals this past May. He will be on a minutes restriction and will sit against the East-leading C’s on Wednesday, likely because the adrenaline of a return to Boston combined with his rustiness would only add undue stress on a player Cleveland will need to make it back to the Finals.

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