BOSTON — When the Boston Celtics traded Isaiah Thomas, it essentially was the end of an era of Celtics basketball.
Thomas was part of the return for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the deal that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston in summer of 2017. The move was part of a roster overhaul that saw just four players from the previous season return to the Celtics for the 2017-18 campaign.
So what would’ve happened had Thomas stuck around?
After Thomas and his Denver Nuggets beat the C’s 114-105 on Monday, Thomas was asked if he still has any hard feelings and if he wonders what could have been long term had he not been traded.
“Yeah, we would’ve probably won a championship already,” Thomas said with a slight smirk. “But it was tough when it happened because I mean it was out of nowhere and I was hurt. Like I said earlier, (if) I was able to play off the bat, off the trade I think it would’ve been easier for me to get through that. But I don’t hold any grudges, I’m through it, things happen, everything happens for a reason and I’m just glad to be healthy and be back playing.”
Last season was a bumpy one for Thomas, who was traded from the Cavs to the Los Angeles Lakers at the trade deadline. The point guard only played just 32 games between the two teams due to his hip injury, an ailment that he gutted out during the 2017 postseason. Because of that hip issue, it’s anyone’s guess how the 2017-18 Celtics would have fared had they tried to bring the band back together for one more run.
Still, Thomas remains a beloved figure in Boston, as evidenced by his tribute video from the Celtics and the ensuing ovation Monday night. So even if he doesn’t have a title with Boston to his name and only is left to wonder what could have been, he (probably) at least can find peace in leaving his mark on the city nonetheless.
Thomas hasn’t ruled out an eventual reunion with the Celtics, however, so maybe he one day will have the chance to help bring a title to Boston.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images