CLEVELAND -- Ever since he returned to NBA action earlier this month, many have questioned Isaiah Thomas' fit with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But if you were hoping the Cavs would move Thomas between now and the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline, prepare to be disappointed. According to Bleacher Report's Ken Berger, the 5-foot-9 guard has become a personal favorite of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.
Thomas has become a favorite of Gilbert, and they often exchange calls and text messages, a league source familiar with their relationship told B/R. This isn't necessarily unusual on a team with an owner who is as involved in the basketball side of things as Gilbert is. It also isn't great for locker room chemistry, because the rest of the players know it.
Berger's league source went on to note that Gilbert's preferential treatment of Thomas hasn't gone unnoticed by LeBron James, who has had an infamously rocky relationship with the Cavs owner.
"LeBron just looks at everybody as a shill for Dan," the league source said.
Whether or not Gilbert's infatuation with Thomas will play into James' decision in free agency this summer is a story for the future, but it seems to be affecting the Cavs in the present as well. Since Thomas joined the Cleveland lineup earlier this month after recovering from a hip injury, the Cavs have won just four of their last nine games, with the former Boston Celtic laying claim to a team-worst defensive box plus/minus of minus-5.9.
None of that, however, seems to matter to Gilbert, who Berger suggests was the driving force in acquiring Thomas from the Celtics in exchange for Kyrie Irving. According to Berger, it's Gilbert and not general manager Koby Altman who is the primary decision-maker in the Cavs' basketball operations, which could make for an interesting two weeks between now and the NBA trade deadline.
Just don't expect Thomas to be going anywhere.