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Former Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas wanted to return to Boston this offseason before reaching an agreement with the Denver Nuggets.
Thomas, who signed a one-year deal with the Nuggets, revealed that he talked to Celtics GM Danny Ainge on a potential return to Boston. The court general said that Ainge was open on the idea of bringing him back, but it didn’t materialize, as the Celtics were in the midst of working a restricted free agent deal with Marcus Smart.
“If the opportunity is there, I would just like to let you know that I’d love to come back,” Thomas told Ainge.
Ainge wanted to continue their conversation, but Thomas had already accepted an offer with the Nuggets before Boston agreed on its new deal with Smart. Thomas played for the Celtics from 2014 to 2017.
Prior to their conversation, Thomas and Ainge engaged in a war of words through the media, with the former saying that he may never talk to the latter again. Ainge would then respond thereafter, citing that he wasn’t sure what the Celtics owed Thomas.
Thomas To The Celtics Would Have Been Great
The former Celtics court general would have provided Boston with a needed depth in the backcourt. Currently, the Celtics has Smart, perennial All-Star Kyrie Irving, and solid backup Terry Rozier, manning backcourt duties.
Thomas, who suffered a horrific hip injury during the 2017 postseason with Boston, has been on a slump lately as his stock has dramatically dropped after two major operations. Thomas said that he should’ve sat out in the 2017 playoffs, considering the long-term effects of his injury.
“I don’t think Boston went about (my injury) the right way, as well,” Thomas added.
The nine-year veteran appeared in just 32 games combined for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers last season. Nonetheless, Celtics Blog writer Alex Kungu is hopeful that this would open the door for Thomas’ return to Boston after this season. Additionally, Rozier, Irving, and Brad Wanamaker will be hitting the market next summer.
On the other hand, CBS Sports journalist Jack Maloney believes that the Celtics is not the best place for Thomas to show his talent, for now, most especially since the team’s roster is crowded heading into next season. However, Maloney reiterated that Thomas has a better opportunity of making a name for himself with the Nuggets. The 29-year-old Thomas added that he is happy to join the Nuggets franchise, saying that he hopes to prove to the rest of league that he can still compete at the highest level.
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