If Isaiah Thomas wasn’t traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and left Boston for a maximum deal elsewhere once he becomes a free agent next offseason, would Celtics fans be as sentimental about his departure?

It’s a good question, and for former players Caron Butler and Ray Allen, it shows the hypocrisy involved in people expecting NBA players to be loyal to their current teams. Butler posted text from a viral tweet on his Instagram on Thursday with a message for Thomas, and Allen responded in agreement.

Ray Allen on Isaiah Thomas

It’s a touchy subject for Allen especially, as Celtics fans and teammates trashed him when he turned down more money from Boston to join the Miami Heat in 2012.

Regardless, both Butler and Allen have a point. It’s tough to reasonably ask a player to stay with a team — sometimes for less money — when they know they can be traded at any moment that’s convenient for the front office.

It probably won’t stop fans from hating on players looking for a change of scenery — sorry, Kevin Durant — but it does give you something to think about.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images