The Boston Celtics will have the most entertaining, yet stressful offseason in the team’s history. If it’s not trying to decide what to do with the No.1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, licking their wounds from the loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers or figuring with Free Agent to attack, they now were hit with another dilemma. Isaiah Thomas, showing his team spirit hit the Celtics with a stunner Friday afternoon.
“We need the best possible player that’s gonna help us win, and I’m with that,” Thomas told reporters on Friday. “Anything Danny (Ainge) and this organization need me to do to help bring even more talent to this city, I’m all for that. I want to win a championship and being so close to getting to the Finals, that makes you want it that much more.”
What Thomas is telling the Celtics is that he’s willing to put his contract talk on hold while the Celtics bring in another player to help them win a championship. That’s bold talk for a player some feel could be replaced. To me, it’s crazy to think that Danny Ainge will replace his best player but Thomas must be careful with his words.
As good as he’s been for the Celtics, Thomas is just coming into his own. 2016-17 was his breakout year with averages of 29 points and six assists per. With Thomas set to hit the open market in 2018, he’s in line for a huge payday, only if Ainge agrees. What happens if Ainge takes Thomas up on his offer and IT gets hurts or his play declines? Thomas is saying the right thing by showing he’s 100 percent pro-Celtics but he’s a player that many believed would never make it, he has his chance to get his security.
As of now, Thomas is set to make $6.7M, however, his Market Value is set to rise around the $20M per year range when or if he gets a contract extension.
What happens if Ainge selects Markelle Fultz with the top pick? Fultz is a bigger, cheaper version of Thomas and Ainge may see that and decide to put Thomas back on the trade blocks. What’s being overlooked here is the fact that Ainge is from the old school. How many people figured he would let go of Celtics legend Paul Pierce for draft picks? He did it because it was in the best interest of the team. Maybe letting Thomas go will be viewed as the same. Ainge can look at Thomas’ words and take them at face value. “Anything Danny needs me to do”. What if he needs you to leave?
The Celtics need another scorer to help take the pressure off Thomas and Al Horford if they wish to contend with the likes of the Cavs and Golden State Warriors. However, a scorer of that magnitude will not come cheap. Teams will inquire about Thomas and if a player like Paul George or Klay Thomson comes up then Ainge has the necessary pieces to pull off a blockbuster deal. Thomas may be dealt with the Celtics having the No.1 pick and it will be due to his words and love for the team. This is a business, there is no loyalty in sports anymore.
Take tour money Thomas, you earned it.