Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, email, his Friday chat, and any other outlet you prefer. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation.
Should the Celtics be considering bringing back Isaiah Thomas? He doesn’t appear to have many options, and he’d be a perfect sixth man. — Steve H.
I understand why some fans would feel this way, but no, they should not.
Thomas was a great player for the Celtics, and one who helped to deliver one of the more enjoyable non-championships seasons (2016-17) in franchise history. He got Boston, played his heart out, scored almost at will at times, and ultimately cost himself millions upon millions of dollars by playing through a hip injury in the ’17 postseason. He cared. He should be remembered with admiration.
But the fit isn’t there for a lot of reasons. If the Celtics retain Marcus Smart — and I still believe they will — they can only pay Thomas the $5.3 million mid-level exception. I’m not sure that’s where they want to spend that money, and that’s a heck of a pay cut for someone who was dreaming of Brinks trucks not so long ago.
The bigger reason is that he’s not a fit on the court. Thomas was a scorer above all else, and a somewhat ball-dominant one. That doesn’t fit on a roster with Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Jayson Tatum all looking for shots. The Celtics don’t need what Thomas does best, and he doesn’t do much else beyond scoring. I imagine it would be difficult for him to come back to a place where he had essentially free rein with the basketball only to realize that no longer would be the case.
It was fun having him here for a couple of seasons. I hope he gets a decent deal somewhere and returns to good health. But as much as Boston loves him, and as much as that was reciprocated, I don’t think there’s a spot for him here now.
What do you think? Should the Celtics have interest in Isaiah Thomas? I’ll hear you in the comments.