"It's never about Isaiah. It’s never about any individual," Malone said after the Nuggets' 133-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, according to the Denver Post's Sean Keeler. "It's about what I think is best for our team. And I made the decision to shorten the rotation, only played eight guys in the first quarter. And I'm going to continue to do that for the time being."
Thomas logged his first DNP since being activated on Feb. 13. He didn't play garbage time in Denver's blowout win either, instead cheering the team on from the bench.
While Thomas has struggled in nine games with the Nuggets, another part of the equation is the emergence of point guard Monte Morris. The second-year Iowa State product is averaging 10.4 points in 24.3 minutes per game.
Thomas signed a one-year deal with Denver for the veteran's minimum in July, hoping to resuscitate his career after a severe hip injury limited him to 32 games last season.
In 41 contests since the Boston Celtics traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017, Thomas has shot just 37.3 percent from the floor and 29.3 percent from deep.