Danny Ainge Reveals Why He’d Never Trade Isaiah Thomas For Lottery Pick

by NESN Staff

May 25, 2017

Isaiah Thomas’ long-term future with the Boston Celtics might be in question, and a recent report suggests that has been the case for quite some time.

Don’t tell that to Danny Ainge, though.

The Celtics’ president of basketball operations appeared Thursday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich” and was asked to address a report from ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan that he considered trading his All-Star point guard to obtain another lottery pick ahead of the 2016 NBA Draft.

Ainge not only shot down that rumor, but he also detailed why such a move would be foolhardy.

“We had eight draft picks and were trying to consolidate our picks to move up or out of the draft,” Ainge said, via CBS Boston. “We were also making plans to go get (free agents) Kevin Durant and Al Horford, so why in the world would we go there without Isaiah Thomas and try to have our best player traded for a lottery pick? It just doesn?t make any sense at all.”

Regardless of whether you buy that explanation, Ainge likely is glad he kept Thomas. The 5-foot-9 point guard had a career season, leading the NBA’s Eastern Conference in scoring with 28.9 points per game and helping vault the Celtics into the East finals with several epic playoff performances.

The Celtics did defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 without an injured Thomas, however, prompting “Toucher & Rich” to ask Ainge about the theory that the team might be better in the guard’s absence. Ainge also laughed off that question.

“That’s really silly,” Ainge said. “Everybody who has watched our team all year, I can?t imagine they would think that. It?s pretty common for teams to go play great without their leading scorer; I used to love when Larry Bird got injured or Kevin McHale couldn?t play. It just means you get a lot more chances. …

“Many times we went into offensive droughts with (Thomas) on the bench, and he?d come in and save the day in the fourth quarter for us. To say we?re a better team without him is just silly.”

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images

Lewis Hamilton
Previous Article

F1’s Romain Grosjean Worried New Monaco Curbs Are Like ‘Take-Off Ramp’

Dont'a Hightower
Next Article

Patriots OTAs Attendance: Dont’a Hightower, Malcolm Mitchell Among Six Players Absent

Picked For You