Things didn’t work out for Isaiah Thomas in the desert.
Just three and a half months into a four-year contract, Thomas found himself unhappy with his need to share minutes with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe in the Phoenix Suns’ three-point guard offense. Dragic wasn’t pleased with his role, either, and as a result, both he and Thomas were shipped out of town at last Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
The latter was back in town Monday, facing off against his former team in just his second game as a member of the Boston Celtics. Suns coach Jeff Hornacek, who saw Thomas more as a sixth man than a starter, said before the game that he believes the 26-year-old is in a much better situation now with the Celtics.
“The difference is, Avery Bradley can play off the ball,” Hornacek said of Boston’s starting shooting guard, via MassLive.com. “(Rookie point guard) Marcus Smart is not necessarily a scoring point guard. So, it was just probably too many guys for us that do the same thing. So that’s why it was tough. But there (with the Celtics), he’s different than those other two guys. So they’ll be fine.”
Thomas admitted Monday that he wanted a larger role in Phoenix, but his departure wasn’t nearly as acrimonious as that of Dragic, whose public breakup with Suns management turned ugly near the end. That, Thomas said, was something he hoped to avoid.
“Oh, I did (want to start),” Thomas said. “Who doesn’t? It’s like the bad thing if somebody says they want to start and they don’t. I don’t get that. I was a team player. I didn’t complain to anybody. I went out there and did my job. The guy who complained, you seen it in the media. I didn’t say anything.”
Thumbnail photo via Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports Images