The 75 greatest NBA players of the 2010s, ranked

Stephen Curry, James Harden
Stephen Curry, James Harden / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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58) Isaiah Thomas

Point guard Isaiah Thomas managed to claw his way back into the NBA in 2023–24 after a two-season absence, showing the same level of determination that got him into the league in the first place.

Thomas was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the last pick of the 2011 NBA draft and spent the first three seasons of his career there. In Sac-Town, Thomas emerged as an offensive weapon who could both create for his teammates, bomb threes, and finish in the paint with terrific athleticism. 

He was then traded to the Phoenix Suns, where he was paired with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, forming a three-headed point guard monster who led the Suns to 48 wins in 2013–14. Despite winning nearly 50 games, they failed to make the playoffs and Thomas was again traded, this time to the Boston Celtics, where he became a legitimate star. In three seasons in Boston, he made two all-star teams and averaged nearly 30 points per game during the 2016–17 season, resulting in him finishing third in MVP voting. 

Not bad for the last pick in the 2011 draft. Unfortunately, that was the high point of his career. He got injured in the 2017 playoffs and was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a deal for Kyrie Irving but his hip injury was more serious than they thought and he was shipped off to the Lakers in short order to finish out the 2010s. 

He bounced around from there but we'll keep our focus on the 2010s, where he averaged 16 points and 5.1 assists in 310 games while making two all-star teams and an all-NBA team. Although Thomas may not have had as long of a peak as some of the best players on this list, he certainly played at a high enough level to set himself apart from his contemporaries in the decade.