Isaiah Thomas wants to stay with the Boston Celtics. But he also is looking for a max contract, meaning some interesting conversations lie ahead for the All-Star point guard and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.
For now, Thomas isn’t sweating it.
“I’m just gonna play my game, the only way I know how, and play to win,” Thomas, who’s set to become a free agent after the 2017-18 NBA season, recently told The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. “I think everything else is going to take care of itself.”
The Celtics made a splash this offseason by signing free-agent forward Gordon Hayward, a move that should bring Boston closer to dethroning the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference. Thomas’ contract situation still is the elephant in the room, though, as he’s coming off a breakout season with the Celtics and has made it clear he wants to be paid handsomely in free agency.
Of course, there’s no guarantee the Celtics will meet Thomas’ demands. As good as he was offensively last season, he’s still a 5-foot-9 point guard with defensive flaws who’s coming off a hip injury. Plus, he’s turning 29 in February, so Father Time could play a factor during his next contract.
But if given the choice, Thomas would like to sign a max deal in Boston, where he’s rejuvenated his career. For all of the playful jokes about the Celtics needing to back up the Brink’s truck, it’s obvious Thomas has a soft spot for his current organization and its city.
“Boston knows where my heart is at,” Thomas said. “I would love to be back. I would love to be here for years to come. At the same time, this game is a business. Just like the Celtics have to look out for themselves, I’ve got to do what’s best for my family and hopefully it’s here in Boston.
“Being here changed my career.”
It sure did.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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