Isaiah Thomas to Return from Hip Injury, Make Cavaliers Debut vs. Trail Blazers

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2018

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 24:  Isaiah Thomas #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers warms up before the game against the Charlotte Hornets on November 24, 2017 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE  (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Liam Kyle/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers announced Monday that All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas will make his long-awaited debut with the team on Tuesday against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Thomas has missed the Cavs' first 36 games of the season due to a hip injury.

This will be Thomas' first game as a member of the Cavaliers. He was part of the blockbuster trade in August that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics

Thomas has been out of action since Game 2 of last year's Eastern Conference Finals when he suffered a hip injury. It was actually a re-aggravation of a right femoral-acetabular impingement with labral tear he suffered during a March 2017 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves

When the Cavaliers initially agreed to the deal with Boston for Irving, concerns with Thomas' physical led to the trade being held up for a few days until the Celtics added a second-round draft pick to the package. 

During his introductory press conference with the Cavaliers in September, Thomas noted how excited he was to play on the same team as LeBron James. 

"I'm excited to play with the best player in the world," Thomas told reporters. "I've been in situations before where things have been a little tough and we haven't had the best players and we just kept fighting and worked with what we had. ... Being put in this situation on the court is everything."

Adding Thomas to the mix is only going to make Cleveland's already-electric offense more dangerous. The Cavs rank third in offensive efficiency this season with 113.7 points per 100 possessions, per Basketball-Reference.com

Thomas set career highs with 28.9 points and a shooting percentage of 46.3 in 76 games with the Celtics last season.

James and Kevin Love are the only Cavaliers players averaging more than 15 points per game this season, so adding another dynamic shooter to the mix will help everyone else elevate their performance

The Cavs started 5-7 this season before winning their next 13 games.

Although Cleveland is in the midst of a three-game losing streak, it is third in the Eastern Conference at 24-12, trailing the Celtics by four games for first place and the Toronto Raptors by one game for second.

With one of the most explosive offensive players in the game at their disposal, the Cavs have an opportunity to make their move during the second half of the season.  

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