Boston Celtics Rumors: Isaiah Thomas reunion could finally happen

Dallas Mavericks guard Isaiah Thomas (2) Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks guard Isaiah Thomas (2) Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Celtics trade deadline frenzy has left their roster looking completely different than it did at the start of the week.

The moves saw the Celtics unload seven players, most of whom weren’t key pieces of the team, in return for two solid bench pieces. Not a bad day at the office if you ask me.

The Celtics busy day was indicative of a truly wild NBA Trade Deadline that saw a couple of huge blockbusters get made throughout the day. And while those moves will rightfully command much of the media attention (we probably will hear about the James Harden/Ben Simmons deal for the rest of the year) the Celtics quietly made some solid moves to give themselves some flexibility moving forward.

With the trades from yesterday, Boston got under the luxury tax threshold, unloaded a ton of dead weight off the backend of their bench, and brought in two players that fit their system perfectly. You cannot ask for much more from deadline day moves, and on his first deadline day in the front office, Brad Stevens stepped up and delivered.

However, the work isn’t done for Stevens and company. The trades left the C’s with five open spots on their roster, although two of them have already been filled with G-league sharpshooter Sam Hauser and another former Celtics big man in Luke Kornet. There are still three open spots on the roster, and considering how Boston could still use some guard depth, a reunion with former star point guard Isaiah Thomas may be more likely now than ever before.

The Boston Celtics could benefit greatly from bringing Isaiah Thomas on board

It feels like everytime there’s a chance to add to the roster, Thomas is one of the first names brought up, because why not? Thomas made a name for himself in Boston, and while his career has not been the same since he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of the Kyrie Irving deal, he still carries value as a bench scorer when called upon.

The circumstances surrounding Thomas’ departure were heartbreaking, and fans have been clamoring for the diminutive point guard to return to Boston pretty much ever since he left. He gave it his all during the 2017 playoffs, and his performance against the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference semi-finals was legendary. And just when it seemed like everything was coming together, he was shipped out of Boston.

This isn’t the first time the Boston Celtics have had a shot to bring Thomas back, and it probably won’t be the last. But this is probably the best opportunity for both sides to come back together. Thomas has bounced around on a couple of 10 day contracts over the past two seasons, but he has never been able to find a place to stick. Boston could have brought him in on a 10 day deal earlier this season when COVID was ravaging the team, but truthfully it didn’t make a ton of sense.

That isn’t the case this time around. The Boston Celtics have a couple of open spots at the back of their roster, and they could certainly use another guard to round things out. Marcus Smart, Payton Pritchard, and the recently acquired Derrick White are the only three guards on the roster, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a guy like Thomas you could turn to when you need a scoring spark.

Now, it’s clear that Thomas is not the player he once was. His hip injury he suffered in the 2017 playoffs has robbed him of the speed and cutting edge that made him so tough to guard back then, but it’s not as if he’s completely useless. Thomas can initiate offense from the point, and while his numbers don’t reflect it this season, he’s still a solid shooter who could knock down open looks generated by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Through short stints with the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks this season, Thomas has proven he still has some traits that could help this team. He came in cold for the Lakers and scored 19 and 13 points in his first two games for them, although he struggled mightily in his final two on the other hand. For the Mavs, Thomas showed his playmaking side, as he picked up four assists without committing any turnovers in just 13 minutes of action.

Thomas’ skills aren’t what they once were, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be helpful for Boston. Even if he doesn’t play, he could provide some mentorship to Pritchard, who just so happens to be a young, undersized guard. Thomas was once the poster boy for undersized guards, as he always found a way to get to the rim over guys who more than a foot taller than him at times.

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If there was ever a time for the Boston Celtics to bring back Thomas, now would be the time to do so. Stevens was even asked about it, and he wouldn’t completely rule out the idea, so it’s not completely out of the picture at this point. The Celtics have a legitimate need for a veteran presence such as Thomas, and it’s time to bring him back to the place where it all started.