Here's a look at the Pelicans' updated depth chart with the addition of Thomas:
- PG: Lonzo Ball, Kira Lewis Jr., Isaiah Thomas
- SG: Eric Bledsoe, Nickeil Alexander-Walker
- SF: Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Wes Iwundu, Naji Marshall
- PF: Zion Williamson, James Johnson, Wenyen Gabriel
- C: Steven Adams, Jaxson Hayes, Willy Hernangomez, Will Magnay
Williamson, Ingram, Ball and Hart have all recently been sidelined by injuries.
Thomas played for the United States national team in February's qualifying games for the 2022 FIBA AmeriCup. He combined for 28 points, five assists, four rebounds and four threes in 42 minutes as part of victories over Mexico and the Bahamas.
The 32-year-old University of Washington product, who last played in the NBA with the Washington Wizards for the first half of the 2019-20 season, told Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated he wanted to showcase he's back to full strength after lingering concerns about his prior hip injuries.
"I'm moving like I did before the injury and that was the biggest thing I wanted to show people—that I didn't lose a step," Thomas said. "I'm still quick and fast. I'm still powerful. I'm able to move again."
Thomas finished sixth in NBA MVP voting after averaging 28.9 points, 5.9 assists, 3.2 threes and 2.7 rebounds for the Boston Celtics during the 2016-17 season.
Questions about the health of his hip delayed his trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers in August 2017. The deal eventually went through but he's never been able to reach that All-Star level since leaving Boston.
Thomas explained he felt pressure to get back on the floor as quickly as possible in Cleveland since his contract was set to expire after the 2017-18 campaign.
"If I could do it over again, I would have got the surgery and sat out that season, and then bet on myself in free agency," Thomas told Beck. "I was afraid of, I guess, having to sit so long going into my contract. At the end of the day, I was trying to get paid."
Now he'll try to establish himself as an impact player again while on the 10-day contract with New Orleans. He could see significant minutes right out of the gate as Ball remains without a timetable for his return from his own hip injury.
It's unclear when Thomas will make his team debut as he must clear the NBA's COVID-19 protocols and then get up to full speed with the offense.
After Friday's game against the Atlanta Hawks, the Pelicans' upcoming games include Sunday vs. the Houston Rockets, a return matchup with the Hawks on Tuesday and a clash with the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.