Isaiah Thomas may no longer be the caliber of player that can shoulder a team on his diminutive 5-foot-9-inch frame as he once did with the Boston Celtics a few years back. However, many, including the Boston Globes Gary Washburn, have pointed to the two-time All-Star as a potential addition to a Celtics lineup looking for a jolt off the bench.
Isaiah Thomas on Return to Boston: ‘I Could Definitely Help’
With questions surrounding a second unit headlined by the likes of Jeff Teague, Grant Williams, Robert Williams and so on, Washburn tossed out the idea of whether a reunion between Boston and one of their most beloved athletes in recent memory could help solidify the Celtics’ bench.
There is one particular proven scorer on the market and looking for work and his name is Isaiah Thomas. If offense is the bench’s weakness, it would seem sensible to sign a player who can score. Thomas is unsigned because of years of hip issues that he maintains are finally over after a corrective surgery earlier this year.
From the sound of it, I.T. signs off on the idea.
The Celtics could certainly benefit from some firepower off the bench. Boston did add the aforementioned Teague this offseason for this reason. Yet with All-Star guard Kemba Walker still working his way back from a knee procedure, coach Brad Stevens would likely welcome another member in his backcourt that he can trust to play meaningful minutes.
Thomas: ‘I Really Feel Like I’m Back’
Thomas, who remains unsigned, showed well during his 40 game stint with the Washington Wizards a season ago. The former All-NBA second-team selection averaged 12.2 points, 3.7 assists and 23.1 minutes per game in 2019-20.
While not the production Boston fans grew accustomed to during Thomas’ once-storied run with the team, the now-31-year-old believes that he’s ready to return to his All-Star form of years past after “playing on one leg” last year.
“I was really playing on one leg against the best players in the world,” Thomas told the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach in late November. “That’s difficult for anybody. I just had to adjust my game to where I was able to make an impact in any way possible. I relied on my jump-shot more than I usually do, and my strength has always been getting in the paint and finishing around the rim. Now I’m able to move, get to the hoop, and put pressure on the defense.”
Thomas detailed to Himmelshbach how taking part in a pickup game alongside the likes of Brooklyn Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in October helped him solidify a belief that he already had… he’s back.
“Those guys were like, ‘Damn, welcome back. You really look like yourself,’” Thomas said. “That only gave me more confidence to be able to play the game again. I mean, I was blowing by people. I haven’t blown by anybody since I had a Celtics uniform on. When I was able to blow by MVP-caliber players, that told me my burst and power and speed are there. I really feel like I’m back.”
Thomas claims to be 100 percent healthy from the hip injury the derailed the Celtics’ 2016-17 title hopes and his superstar trajectory. As the point guard noted above, he can do nothing now but put his head down and work while he waits on that call.
Follow the Heavy on Celtics Facebook page for all the latest stories, rumors and viral content!
- ‘Not Even a Question’: NBA Champ Heaps Praise on Jaylen Brown & Celtics
- Jaylen Brown Appears to Subliminally Shade James Harden Trade Rumors
- New Details Strengthen Celtics Chances of Acquiring James Harden: Report
- Celtics Urged to Swing Blockbuster Trade for Magic Star: ‘Timing is Right’
For more Celtics content, follow @VinnySomma on Twitter.