Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas has made it clear this offseason that he’s ready to be involved in bringing free agents to Boston.
“I’m going to be really active [in recruiting],” Thomas told SiriusXM radio before the NBA Draft Lottery. “Danny wants me to be active. Whatever he needs me to do, I’m there. All he says is, ‘When I call, answer.’ I’m going to be ready.”
The All-Star wasted no time living up to his word on Tuesday morning. Minutes after Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder were eliminated in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals by the Golden State Warriors, Thomas sent out a tweet featuring Durant’s No. 35 and a Celtics clover. Durant is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) May 31, 2016
Thomas removed the tweet from his account quickly after making the initial post. It’s possible someone pointed out to him that Durant would not be able to wear No. 35 in Boston since it is already in the rafters. There is also the potential issue of tampering (since Durant’s technically not a free agent yet), or perhaps there was a fear that a recruitment tweet sent moments after devastating Game 7 loss would not come across well.
Whatever the thought process was from Thomas, Marc Stein of ESPN.com has already confirmed that the Celtics will be on a long list of suitors chasing the 6-foot-9 forward this summer.
Wizards, Heat, Celtics, Rockets, Knicks, Lakers, Spurs and, yes, Warriors … all expected to pursue Kevin Durant in free agency this summer
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 31, 2016
For now, the Thunder are reportedly the early favorites to retain Durant on a short-term deal after a deep postseason run, but Durant declined to explain his thought process on his impending free agency in the moments after a season-ending defeat.
“I mean, we just lost like 30 minutes ago, so I haven’t even thought about it,” Durant said at the podium following Game 7. “I’m just embracing my teammates and just reflecting on the season. I’ll think about that stuff, I don’t know when. But we just lost an hour ago, 30 minutes ago, so I don’t know.”