Thomas and Danny talked of a return

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Thomas and Danny talked of a return

Post by Matty on Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:54 am

https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/nba-free-agency-2018-isaiah-thomas-was-open-to-return-to-celtics-this-offseason/

It's been a bit of a slow week in terms of free agency news, but here's some new info to spice things up. An Isaiah Thomas-Boston Celtics reunion wasn't out of the cards this summer. The former All-Star guard, who ended up signing a one-year deal with the Denver Nuggets, had a long discussion with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski recently.
Thomas talked about his injuries, the obstacles he's overcome in his career and whether or not he should have kept playing through the 2017 Playoffs. (He thinks it was the right decision for him at the time, given what he was going through, but probably shouldn't have played when considering the long-term implications. He added that he didn't think Boston went about it the right way either.)

For the most part, it was pretty much exactly what you expected to hear. But it was certainly a surprise when IT noted that he was interested in a return to the Celtics, and even had a conversation with GM Danny Ainge about the possibility. Via ESPN:

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."

Considering how Thomas' tenure in Boston came to a close, it's pretty interesting to hear that he was open to going back. Part of that may have been simply the lack of offers out there for him, but it wasn't that long ago that Thomas and Ainge were having a war of words through the media.

In the aftermath of the trade, Thomas told Sports Illustrated that he may never speak to Ainge again. Which, honestly, considering the circumstances of that deal, was understandable. A short time later, Ainge fired back, saying he wasn't sure what the Celtics owed Thomas. It was an awkward, and almost embarrassing end to what had been a pretty special run for the Celtics.

So on just a personal level, it's nice to see that Thomas and Ainge have moved past the hard feelings. From a basketball perspective, Thomas showing back up would have been interesting. The TD Garden faithful would have loved the move, as Thomas is essentially a cult hero in the city.

However, given how crowded the Celtics' roster is heading into next season, it may not have been the best place for Thomas to show other teams that he's back to being himself. He'll probably get much more of an opportunity to shine with the Nuggets.

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Re: Thomas and Danny talked of a return

Post by KyleCleric on Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:56 am

Denver is a great spot for him

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Re: Thomas and Danny talked of a return

Post by Matty on Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:00 am

Matty wrote:https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/nba-free-agency-2018-isaiah-thomas-was-open-to-return-to-celtics-this-offseason/

It's been a bit of a slow week in terms of free agency news, but here's some new info to spice things up. An Isaiah Thomas-Boston Celtics reunion wasn't out of the cards this summer. The former All-Star guard, who ended up signing a one-year deal with the Denver Nuggets, had a long discussion with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski recently.
Thomas talked about his injuries, the obstacles he's overcome in his career and whether or not he should have kept playing through the 2017 Playoffs. (He thinks it was the right decision for him at the time, given what he was going through, but probably shouldn't have played when considering the long-term implications. He added that he didn't think Boston went about it the right way either.)

For the most part, it was pretty much exactly what you expected to hear. But it was certainly a surprise when IT noted that he was interested in a return to the Celtics, and even had a conversation with GM Danny Ainge about the possibility. Via ESPN:

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."

Considering how Thomas' tenure in Boston came to a close, it's pretty interesting to hear that he was open to going back. Part of that may have been simply the lack of offers out there for him, but it wasn't that long ago that Thomas and Ainge were having a war of words through the media.

In the aftermath of the trade, Thomas told Sports Illustrated that he may never speak to Ainge again. Which, honestly, considering the circumstances of that deal, was understandable. A short time later, Ainge fired back, saying he wasn't sure what the Celtics owed Thomas. It was an awkward, and almost embarrassing end to what had been a pretty special run for the Celtics.

So on just a personal level, it's nice to see that Thomas and Ainge have moved past the hard feelings. From a basketball perspective, Thomas showing back up would have been interesting. The TD Garden faithful would have loved the move, as Thomas is essentially a cult hero in the city.

However, given how crowded the Celtics' roster is heading into next season, it may not have been the best place for Thomas to show other teams that he's back to being himself. He'll probably get much more of an opportunity to shine with the Nuggets.



I think the article gets it right, Thomas gave us his heart and soul and bizness is bizness and all, and we clearly got the best deal out of that trade, but it was a cold hearted play as there ever was one. "Et Tu Danny? But now the Celtics have truly moved on, perhaps if we lost Marcus in F/A but there really isn't room for Thomas to go and do what is needed to earn that brinks truck. For his sake, I hope he gets back to form and scores big in the summer of 19. I wish it could happen for him in Boston, but there is just no room for him.
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Re: Thomas and Danny talked of a return

Post by Matty on Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:01 am

double post.. No
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Re: Thomas and Danny talked of a return

Post by wideclyde on Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:26 pm

matty,

I can not agree that trading Thomas for Irving was anywhere near a cold hearted move by Ainge for several reasons.

1. Thomas was fully expecting a max level contract and would have been considerably more expensive than Irving for two full years had Ainge given him one.

2. Thomas was already injured and in a body part/place where no one could be sure of his being able to return to his 2017 levels. Unfortunately, he still has not been able to show that he can return to that level.

3. Thomas had likely a "career" year even if he had not injured his hip, and may have never been able to reproduce that season ever again. This made him a big gamble at a max level contract.

4. Thomas was and always will be a very poor defensive player. Somewhat related, he can't rebound either.

5. The Cs got Kyrie Irving (for at least two years) and he was clearly the better player in the deal. He came to Boston with a poor reputation on defense but certainly proved to be at least adequate which was a nice surprise. Offensively he was super (as expected).

None of this is a knock on Thomas during his years in Boston because he was a fantastic offensive player, team leader and crowd favorite. But, if guys like Kareem, Oscar Robertson, Wilt, etc can be traded so can Mr. Thomas.

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