The story of Isaiah Thomas has its ups and its downs. The 5-foot-9 point guard, who recently signed with the Denver Nuggets on a one-year, $2.3 million deal, was destined for a maximum contract after he played the best basketball of his career from 2014 to 2017 with the Boston Celtics.
Emotions—including the tragic loss of his sister, Chyna, in a car accident and getting traded to Cleveland in a package for Kyrie Irving—as well as a hip injury, hindered Thomas’ performance on the court and brought his stock way down. A once superstar in Boston, where he averaged a career-high 28.9 points per game, good for third-best in the Eastern Conference, Thomas played just 32 games in 2017-19 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers. The two-time NBA All-Star never played with the same mojo he once had in Boston and was a different player.
Although Isaiah Thomas and Boston Celtics owner Danny Ainge didn’t end their relationship on good terms, Thomas’ heart will always be in Boston.
In an interview with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski published Sunday, Thomas said he reached out to Ainge this summer while he was a free agent and talked with the Celtics’ president of basketball operations for 15 to 20 minutes about the possibility of signing with Boston this season.
“Sh**, I’d have gone back (to Boston),” Thomas told Wojnarowski. “I don’t hold grudges.”
"Nobody can say that they fight the same battle as me." Isaiah Thomas sits down to discuss Denver, the hip, money and why he called Danny Ainge about returning to the Celtics. https://t.co/d8150KGAc1
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 23, 2018
Thomas said Ainge’s mind “was open to the idea,” but the timing was not right and the call was too late. In that time, Boston locked up restricted free-agent Marcus Smart on a four-year, $52 million deal. If Thomas signed with Boston on a second engagement, he would have become a part of the three-headed monster of himself, Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier.
Maybe Boston not working out will become the best situation for Thomas. The 29-year-old has the chance for a fresh start on a team full of young talent where he’ll play extensive minutes.
A Boston reunion would have been special, but lets root for Isaiah Thomas the player and hope he’s striving in Denver next season and returns to his star status.
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