By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
A year removed from his days of openly campaigning for a max contract, and following an odd season split between the Cavaliers and Lakers, former Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas is simply looking for a contract.
That pursuit of an NBA deal has now taken the 29-year-old guard to the comment section of Instagram.
After Celtics insider A. Sherrod Blakely bumped into Thomas at an airport, Blakely took to NBC Sports Boston’s Instagram account and posted a picture of the two of them together. With more than a few Boston fans tagging Thomas in the comments telling him to come back to the Celtics, Thomas himself chimed in and welcomed that possibility with open arms.
“Tell Boston I’ll come back for a year LOL,” Thomas wrote. “Good to see you. Miss my Boston fam!”
A one-year deal would actually make perfect sense for both Thomas and the Celtics, too.
Whether or not the Celtics stop their squabbling with restricted free agent Marcus Smart and sign No. 36 to a new contract, the Celtics would have enough money to sign Thomas. That’s thanks to the mid-level exception. Now, Thomas’ health issues and subpar post-deadline performance in L.A. also prevent him from earning a multi-year deal (and may be the reason why he’s still on the open market in the first place), which obviously helps the Celtics in terms of their ‘competition’ to sign him.
And for Thomas, a return to the city where he played the absolute best basketball of his career — even if his return comes with a reduced role as the team’s sixth or seventh man — makes the most sense when it comes to hopes for his next payday.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has routinely found a way to properly utilize his players in the best possible way, and a second chance with No. 4 back in Boston would likely come with the same, especially in a secondary role of sorts.
Unfortunately for Thomas and those that tagged him in the original post that brought us to this point, though, it seems highly, highly unlikely that the Celtics would give any sort of legitimate consideration to this idea.
If Smart is retained, the Celtics will have some ridiculous depth at the point; Kyrie Irving, Smart, Terry Rozier, and EuroLeague import Brad Wanamaker. And you would add Thomas to that grouping? It’s just hard to imagine the Celtics, who have an absolute obsession with versatility and players that can play more than one position, carrying five point guards.
This is a lot different than carrying five players with heights varying from 6-foot-6 to 6-foot-9. Especially when designing a five-man unit for Situation X, Y, Z, and K like Stevens obviously has looking at the way he utilized last year’s roster.
In the event that Smart is not retained and leaves on an offer sheet or sign-and-trade, you would essentially replace Smart with Thomas. That… doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when it comes to the overall scope of the 2019 Celtics.
Now, it makes sense from an emotional standpoint, as Thomas brought the fire and passion of a whole damn army to the Celtics. But as the second-string guard, Smart has thrived in his role as a defensive stopper. Thomas, of course, can’t play a lick of defense, and asking him to be that would be a disaster waiting to happen. You would instead by all means say to hell with defense, let’s just hope that the second-string guard can be a volume-scorer option and help run teams out of the building. But the Celtics already have a talent like that developing before their eyes in Rozier. In essence, there would be a massive redundancy. And at a key spot in a league landscape dominated by offensively-gifted point guards, too.
But here’s to hoping that the forever-likable Thomas tries Snapchat next.
Ty Anderson is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.