Isaiah Thomas has built as impressive of a resume as one can in his bid for an NBA return. Over recent weeks, the Tacoma native has taken the Pro-Am circuit by storm, most notably dropping an absurd 81 points in his home state of Washington at Seattle Pacific University.
As is the case any time Thomas’ name pops up on the radar, a reunion with the Boston Celtics quickly became a prominent talking point across social media following his brilliant performance. The difference is this time, Thomas is chiming in on the discussion, making one last pitch to the Celtics to give the people what they want.
“There’s a little talk about that,” Thomas said on ESPN’s Jalen & Jacoby show when asked about the truth behind rumors regarding a potential reunion in Massachusetts. “I think the world wants that to happen because it only makes sense. If that opportunity presents itself, I know I can help that team, especially in the young guys over there in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.”
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Is It Finally Time?
While Thomas may be open to returning to Beantown, there are more than a few roadblocks in making such a dream become a reality. For starters, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix recently joined WEEI’s Ordway, Merloni, and Fauria Show, where he fought back on the previous notion that the Celtics may be open to bringing the two-time All-Star back into the fold.
On top of that, the numbers aren’t in Thomas’ favor, from an overall roster standpoint to a sudden logjam at point guard. With the free-agent signing of Dennis Schroder, the Celtics now have 16 players under contract and only 15 roster spots. Schroder’s arrival also doesn’t lend its hand well to Boston viewing adding Thomas as a necessity. Marcus Smart is expected to inherit the team’s lead-guard duties in the wake of the Kemba Walker trade. Payton Pritchard has turned heads in Summer League after a promising rookie campaign. Plus, Yam Madar making the roster is certainly a possibility.
In fact, the abundance of bodies at the position has kickstarted talks of moving off of point guards on the current roster, not adding them. The recently acquired Kris Dunn has been engulfed in trade talks ever since arriving in town, while Carsen Edwards is perceived as a top candidate to be cut.
The good news is, the former MVP candidate doesn’t appear too hung up on what role he might man, but rather the fact that he gets the opportunity to once again grace the NBA hardwood.
“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,” Thomas noted. “That’s all I’m doing. Hopefully that call comes and you know I’ll be ready to take it back to the top.”
Lakers, Others Interested in Thomas
If the Celtics are reluctant to pounce on adding Thomas, one of their more storied rivals may just beat them to the punch. The New York Times’ Marc Stein has reported that the Los Angeles Lakers have at least discussed the idea of signing the 32-year-old point guard.
The Los Angeles Lakers still have a few roster spots open and have weighed using one of them to sign former All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, league sources say.
The addition of Thomas is far from assured, sources stressed, but the Lakers are looking for additional backcourt punch as well as wing depth as they decide how to supplement the 12 veteran players they have under contract.
LeBron James’ decision to chime in on Thomas’ return bid certainly hasn’t quieted speculation on the Lakers front.
Thomas also claimed on Jalen & Jacoby that he’s been in talks with “about four teams” this summer regarding an NBA return. The 5-foot-9-inch guard last played in the league this past season, when he signed a 10-day contract with the New Orleans Pelicans. In three games with the franchise, he averaged 7.7 points, 1.7 assists and 1.3 rebounds. Over his professional career, Thomas has proven to be a constant scoring punch, averaging 18.1 points per game, including a career-best 28.9 points per game in his final season with the Celtics.