The Denver Nuggets have shortened their rotation with Isaiah Thomas being dropped.

Thomas has played in only nine games since his return from hip surgery. Thomas signed a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum with the expectation he would backup Jamal Murray, but the emergence of Monte Morris made that difficult.

Michael Malone pulled Thomas aside before Tuesday's game to inform him of the decision.

“You definitely talk to him, and I will keep that conversation between myself and IT,” Malone said. “Not an easy conversation, but that’s my job. It’s never about Isaiah or any individual. It’s about what’s best for our team. I made the decision to shorten the rotation, only play eight guys in the first quarter, and I’m going to continue to do that for the time being. Sixteen games to go, I’m trying to find a rhythm and a rotation that I feel like will give us the best chance to win now and into the playoffs.”

Malone praised Thomas’ professionalism in handling his removal from the rotation.