Michael Malone praised Isaiah Thomas' impact and leadership on the Denver Nuggets despite having not played a game this season.

“Even while he’s not playing, he’s still having a profound impact on our young players. His voice, his leadership in huddles during games in practices and in the locker room. We have a relatively quiet group, and one thing I think everybody knows that’s been around Isaiah is that he’s not quiet and that’s a good thing. That’s a good thing for our team. He brings an energy and a voice and a leadership that we sorely miss," said Malone.

Thomas has struck up a close relationship with Monte Morris.

“His leadership alone helps us. We probably wouldn’t be this high in the West if he wasn’t in our locker room giving us tips on guys he played and just knowing how to pull through. I look up to him a lot, not just because he plays my position, but because of what he’s been through and everything,” said Morris.

Thomas is close to making his return for the Nuggets following hip surgery.