It’s no secret that free agent guard and former MVP candidate Isaiah Thomas, traded out of town almost four years ago, wants to make another run with the Celtics.
“There’s a little talk about that,” Thomas told ESPN’s Jalen & Jacoby when asked about a potential return to Boston. “I think the world wants that to happen because it only makes sense. If the opportunity presents itself, I know I can help that team. Especially the young guys; Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. I know I can help.”
Thomas does have experience playing with Brown, as Brown was a rookie during the 5-foot-9 guard’s MVP-caliber year in 2016-17, and has since emerged as the Celtics’ No. 2 behind Tatum. The Celtics drafted Tatum with Thomas still part of the team, too, but that changed about two months later when Thomas was part of the package sent to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving.
And unlike the last few times that Thomas has outright admitted that he wants to make a Boston return, Thomas noting that there’s been ‘a little talk’ confirms a report from earlier in the month that noted that the Celtics were interested in a potential reunion with Thomas with Brad Stevens in as the C’s new president of basketball operations. Stevens was who helped elevate Thomas to an All-Star level talent as the Green’s head coach, and is considered one of his biggest supporters.
Now, it’s obviously worth mentioning that the report of an apparent interest in reconnecting came out before the Celtics signed point guard Dennis Schröder to a one-year deal. Given the significance of that addition, both in style and expected minutes, it’s worth wondering if the Celtics’ take on a reunion with Thomas, who averaged a career-high 28.9 points in his final season in Boston before hip injuries derailed his career and sent him on a multi-team tour of the NBA, has changed. Especially with word that the team is potentially trade the recently-acquired Kris Dunn to alleviate their backcourt logjam.
Thomas, meanwhile, appeared in just three games last season, all of which came during a 10-day contract run with the New Orleans Pelicans, where he averaged 7.7 points per night and shot 33 percent from the field (25 percent from deep).
Prior to that, Thomas appeared in 40 games for the Wizards in 2019-20, and even shot a career-best 41.3 percent from three-point land during that Washington run.
Most recently, Thomas dropped 81 points in a Pro-Am game, and has apparently drawn the interest of four NBA teams in total. And Thomas is both saying and doing all the right things in pursuit of another NBA chance, and has had the backing of countless NBA players past and present who have seen him play since undergoing a hip procedure last year.
“I’m just trying to present myself in a way that I can show teams that I’m healthy in any role that is given to me,” said Thomas. “That’s all I’m doing [and] hopefully that call comes and I’ll be ready to take it back to the top.”
A call he clearly hopes from a 617 area code.