Officially, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and Ante Zizic have been introduced as members of the Cleveland Cavaliers. They'll wear numbers 3, 99, and 41, respectively. Beyond that, what did we actually learn in this 30-minute spectacle?
Koby Altman does not want to talk about Isaiah Thomas's hip
I get it. It's been a few months and there have been new sets of rumors regarding Thomas's progress on a near daily basis. Altman's stance is "we know what we're doing, we have a plan in place, we're not putting a timetable on his return, we just want him to be 100%." He reiterated this several times.
I mean, of course, that's what he and every other Cavaliers fan want. This is a superstar point guard who is the cornerstone of a trade for your own superstar point guard. Yes, everyone wants him to be 100%.
But Koby Altman really doesn't want to talk about Isaiah's hip. That's a slight problem. Because...
Everyone else wants to talk about Isaiah Thomas's hip
Altman had to shut down what felt like a dozen questions about Thomas's hip by restating the point that they have a plan in place and they're going to follow that plan. They have great doctors, blah blah blah.
The first four questions of the press conference were either about Thomas's hip or about Altman asking them not to talk about Thomas's hip and then several later questions came back to that same subject. In fairness, all of these questions should be asked, and it doesn't exactly boost confidence to find out that no one is willing to give information about the injury.
On a related topic...
There does not seem to be optimism about Isaiah Thomas's hip
The general vibe feels bad. I've heard guesses ranging from "no way it's before Christmas" to "he might be ready by the All-Star break." As Jason Lloyd (of The Athletic) tweeted after the conference, Thomas's hip was reaggravated on May 12. It's four months later and we know absolutely nothing about the severity of the injury or how long he'll be out of commission. That's objectively insane and very much does not encourage hope.
Quick points that are not related to Isaiah Thomas's hip:
- Ante Zizic's accent is fantastic
- Jae Crowder's microphone was either broken, off, or he forgot that he was supposed to talk into the mic
- Jae Crowder's life got a lot easier by no longer having to guard LeBron. I'm happy for him
- Being traded must suck, personally
- Not a lot of questions for (or about) Ante Zizic
- The Brooklyn draft pick was not introduced, nor does it have a jersey number
- These guys are bummed about getting traded and really liked Boston
- Jae Crowder would probably be a starter for most teams in the NBA or at least a 23-26 minutes a night sixth man. It's hard to tell where he'll come off the bench in Cleveland
- The Cavs have 17 players under contract and a max roster size of 15. They are probably not done making moves
Overall this press conference didn't do a lot to boost anyone's confidence in the Thomas situation, which is the only thing that media and fans cared about. It was a lot of words to say nothing from Koby Altman, so with the absence of any other options, we all just have to wait and see what happens.
Hopefully Derrick Rose really is becoming his old self.