IT Called Celtics Before Signing With Denver

It appears as though Isaiah Thomas did something that no NBA fan would ever expect: he spoke to Danny Ainge, the general manager of the Boston Celtics. This is the same GM who traded Thomas to the Cleveland Cavaliers last offseason after he played multiple playoff games after dealing with his sister’s death and with a lingering hip injury. Thomas played until he “literally couldn’t play anymore,” causing him to be sidelined for the remainder of the playoffs and the first half of last season.

Thomas appeared to be on the verge of signing a 9-figure contract after averaging 28.9 PPG on 46.3% from the field and 37.9% from 3-point land. However, the injury prevented him from getting this extension, as teams wanted to see his production after surgery. And rightfully so, as his previous season was amongst the worst of his career. Isaiah played 32 games last year, averaging 15.2 PPG and shot only 29.3% from 3-point land. The Cavs decided they didn’t need Thomas moving forward, and traded him to the Los Angeles Lakers at the deadline for members of their young core. Of 17 games with the Lakers, Thomas only started 1.

So this offseason, it was disappointing to see Isaiah Thomas, who was once on the verge of signing a massive contract extension, sign only a 1-year, $2 million contract with the Denver Nuggets. But Thomas seemed at peace with this decision. He had this to say about the contract with Denver:

“People are scared of my hip now. I just had to be real with myself. I had to understand that it’s not going to be about the money this summer. I’ve got to show people that I can play – and play at a high level again. And I will.”

Thomas will lead the Nuggets bench, as it seems Denver will go with Jamal Murray and Gary Harris as the 2 starting guards for the beginning of the season. Isaiah has a season ahead of him to prove to the NBA why he still deserves that multiyear contract extension.

However, it’s still interesting that Thomas seemingly holds no grudge against the Celtics and Danny Ainge. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski spoke to Isaiah Thomas earlier this week and the following is the conversation between the 2:

“Before finalizing the agreement with Denver, Thomas had reached out to Boston GM Danny Ainge. They talked for 15 to 20 minutes, Thomas says, and he told Ainge: ‘If the opportunity is there, I would just like to let you know that I’d love to come back.’

Ainge says his mind was open to the idea, but the Celtics needed to work through Marcus Smart’s restricted-free-agency discussions before they could consider making an offer to Thomas. Ainge was willing to continue the conversation, but Thomas accepted the Nuggets’ offer before Boston had reached its new deal with Smart.

‘S—, I’d have gone back,” Thomas says. “I don’t hold grudges.’”

So it seems that Thomas is all for a future reunion between him and his former ball club. But first, Isaiah must prove himself to still be of worth to the Nuggets.

Feature Image via Flikr/Erik Drost

My name is Matthew Geyman. I am a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Baltimore Ravens, but really just enjoy watching and playing any sports (although I'm best at golf and basketball). I play electric guitar and my genre of choice (both for listening and playing) is heavy metal. In my free time, I like to read and play video games. My favorite books tend to be those of Greek mythology, although any book that is captivating is certainly going to interest me. As for video games, I delve into a wide spectrum, from sports games to adventure games to racing games. I also have a great passion for American history and enjoy reading primary documents or sources whenever given the opportunity.

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