The Cavs, winners of 18 of their past 20 games, have ultra-rare back-to-back practices scheduled for Saturday in Cleveland and Sunday in San Francisco ahead of their NBA Finals rematch with the Golden State Warriors.
But even before that, in the coming days, the Cavs are planning to give Thomas his first chance to get in a full court five-on-five practice since joining the team following a trade with the Boston Celtics in August. The Cavs are hoping to find a way for Thomas to scrimmage with their G League affiliate, the Canton Charge, multiple team sources told ESPN. It is unclear if Thomas will travel to Canton or a collection of Charge players will come to the Cavs' practice facility in Independence, Ohio, for the run.
Thomas aggravated an existing hip injury in last season's playoffs and has been recovering from it since being dealt to Cleveland in the offseason trade that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston.
The Cavs' official timeline for Thomas' recovery provided to the media in late September called for Thomas to be back playing games by the first of the year.
Yahoo Sports has reported that Thomas was targeting the first week of January for a return.
"I don't know where that came from, but I hope so," Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said Sunday night of the report. "I hope it's accurate."
When asked if he was consulted on Thomas' return timeline, Lue said, "That's not my job. When he's ready to play, I'm ready."
A team source told ESPN that the final determination for when Thomas would play would be a joint decision agreed upon by Thomas, the Cavs' front office and the team's medical staff.
Cleveland plays the Portland Trail Blazers at home on Jan. 2, followed by the Celtics on the road Jan. 3.
Thomas has repeatedly referenced his motivation to get vengeance against Boston in the months since joining the Cavs.