Isaiah Thomas says his relationship with Mike Malone influenced Nuggets move

Sacramento Kings v Washington Wizards

Isaiah Thomas was always unlikely to receive a big offer as a free agent this summer but his decision to accept such a small deal with the Denver Nuggets raised some eyebrows. 

The point guard signed a one-year deal for the veteran minimum of $2 million. 

Coming off hip surgery, Thomas didn't receive much interest but he's surely worth more than that figure. 

But after officially penning his deal with Denver on Monday, the two-time All-Star explained that he was more interested in joining a team that wanted him and not the money.

“I just wanted to be wanted,” he said, per Christopher Dempsey of

“Being wanted is half the battle. When somebody wants you as bad as you want that opportunity, it sort-of always works out.

"I didn’t care about the money. I didn’t care about none of that. I cared about being able to showcase my skills and be in a good environment."

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks

Familiar face

The move to the Mile High City will reunite IT with his former coach Mike Malone after they worked together during his time with the Sacramento Kings. 

The 29-year-old has admitted that Malone played a huge role in his decision to sign with the Nuggets. 

“Me having a real close relationship with coach Malone was probably the biggest key,” Thomas said.

“And knowing that I wanted to go somewhere where they were going to allow me to be who I am, allow me to play to my strengths and at the same time be around a good group of guys that got the potential to be special.”

Playing under Malone with the Kings in the 2013-14 season, Thomas enjoyed an impressive year and he remains grateful to his head coach for bringing the best out of him. 

“That was one of my biggest years," he said. "That was kind of like my breakout year. I averaged 20 points, six assists, and he was a guy that trusted me.”

Los Angeles Lakers v Atlanta Hawks

After trading Wilson Chandler to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Nuggets will hand his spot in the starting lineup to Will Barton. 

That means IT will be the team's number one scoring option off the bench next season and will be tasked with leading the second unit. 

He's capable of putting up huge scoring numbers at will and Denver will hope he can add an extra offensive spark to one of the league's most potent teams. 

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