Isaiah Thomas Enters Health and Safety Protocols Day After Signing with Mavericks

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 30, 2021

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 29: Isaiah Thomas #2 of the Dallas Mavericks dribbles the ball during the game against the Sacramento Kings on December 29, 2021 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. 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 2021 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks guard Isaiah Thomas entered the NBA's health and safety protocols on Thursday.

As a result, he will miss Friday's game against the Sacramento Kings.

The two-time All-Star made his Mavs debut in Wednesday's 95-94 loss to the Kings, finishing with six points and four assists in 13 minutes on the floor.

Dallas has seven other players unavailable because they're in the health and safety protocols: Trey Burke, Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber, Brandon Knight, Boban Marjanovic and JaQuori McLaughlin.

Following updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the NBA and NBA Players Association agreed to change the return-to-play protocols to allow players and coaches to return earlier from isolation. They can quarantine for as little as six days as long as they're asymptomatic and meeting testing requirements as well as local regulations.

The new rule doesn't provide much relief for Thomas, though, since he signed a 10-day contract with the Mavs thanks to the NBA's hardship allowance. His isolation period will cover a majority of that 10-day window, assuming he's out for six days.

In addition to Friday, Thomas could miss Sunday's matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder and a Jan. 3 date with the Denver Nuggets. His availability for Jan. 5 against the Golden State Warriors could be in jeopardy, too.

Between representing Team USA for World Cup and AmeriCup qualifying and competing in the NBA G League, Thomas did everything he could to engineer a return to the NBA.

Landing in the health and safety protocols is another setback for the guard.