You have to give it to Altitude TV’s Chris Dempsey: he knows how to tease an interview. In a Twitter post Dempsey quoted Tim Connelly, the President of Basketball Operations for the Denver Nuggets, regarding Isaiah Thomas’s health and timeline for Denver’s fast-approaching training camp.

The full quote regarding Thomas’s status for the start of training camp:

“We’ll see. Like all of our guys, we want to be especially sensitive to Isaiah. I think he probably has rushed back (in the past). We want Isaiah to be right. So, he’s working his butt off a couple times a day with our guys. He’s getting better by the day. But we’re not trying to win the preseason. Whenever he’s ready he’ll be out there and I’m sure he’ll be impactful.”

Connelly is not wrong. Thomas has come back too quickly in the past, as well as postponed getting surgery for too long, both of which are indicative of the stubborn personality traits that helped Thomas thrive as a little man in a big man’s game. It sounds like the Nuggets want to do everything possible to make sure that Thomas doesn’t have any more health interruptions this season.

They will not rush him onto the court, preferring to make sure they can keep him on the court once he is ready to go. He’s already working out with the training staff, which is good, but Denver has plenty of guards and reserve ball-handlers if Thomas is either not ready to go for the start of training camp or needs to be worked in after the real games start. Signing point guard Monte Morris was a terrific backup move this offseason, and players like Jamal Murray and Will Barton can direct traffic when needed. Even Gary Harris showed a nice step forward in play-making skills this past year with a 9-assist game to his name.

But Thomas is currently slotted as Denver’s bench scoring weapon and floor general, and for a team that struggled with both consistency and scoring punch off the pine at too many points last year it’s important that Thomas is ready to go when he does take the court in Denver’s new uniform.

The careful approach is probably the best one where Thomas is concerned, even if it means having to work him into the rotation during the season. This is one of those times when Denver’s lauded depth needs to come into play so that he can return on the right timetable for his health and production rather than being thrown into the rotation out of necessity.

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Rumor: Thomas may not be ready for training camp

The Nuggets may have a problem on their hands if Thomas isn’t ready to suit up when the regular season rolls around. It was going to take awhile for him to get adjusted to this team, but if there’s no timetable for his return, that spells bad news for Denver’s bench. Monte Morris better be ready to step into that role, or else Michael Malone will have to get creative with his point guard rotation.