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Dallas Mavericks, ravaged by protocol additions, sign former All-Star Isaiah Thomas to hardship deal

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Former All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas signed a 10-day hardship deal with the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday after the team had two more players enter the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

Center Boban Marjanovic and guard Brandon Knight entered the protocols. Both tested positive for COVID-19, sources said.

Thomas, who averaged 9.3 points in four games for the Los Angeles Lakers on a hardship deal this month, joined the Mavericks for Wednesday’s 95-94 loss to the Sacramento Kings. He received an ovation when he entered the game in the first quarter and finished with six points on 3-of-8 shooting while adding four assists in 13 minutes.

“These players coming in on these hardship deals is a tough thing to do, especially what he did today, to fly in and go straight to work,” said Jalen Brunson, who had 25 points for the Mavs. “This fan base here, they love him. He’s one of those players, wherever he goes he’s going to get a lot of love.”

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Dallas has had nine players enter the league’s health and safety protocols this month, including superstar Luka Doncic. All remain in the protocols except for forward Reggie Bullock, who has been cleared after missing the past five games, and reserve forward Josh Green.

Thomas, 32, was a two-time All-Star for the Boston Celtics before a serious hip injury derailed his career. He has spent most of the past two seasons out of the NBA, playing a total of seven games on 10-day deals with the New Orleans Pelicans in April and Lakers this month.

Knight is on a 10-day hardship deal with the Mavericks, averaging 10.0 points and 2.7 assists in the past three games.

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