The mid-season trade for Isaiah Thomas seemed like your annual pre-deadline deal. A team sheds some space on their roster and acquires a proven player to help fuel the fire right away. However, this acquisition turned out to be far more than "your annual" trade. For the price of Marcus Thornton and a 2016 first round pick, the Celtics added an offensively dominant point guard as well as a player with big time connections.
Isaiah Thomas revitalized the Boston Celtics, carrying them through a late season surge for the playoffs. The man may be 5-9, but he's got the heart and courage of a lion. These positive attributes make Thomas a like-able character, which may be the reason why Danny Ainge assigned him the task of recruiting. The 26 year old has revealed his past recruiting experience, saying that he helped attract high school players to his alma mater (University of Washington). Thomas has been relatively open about his free agent hopes; he stressed his strong desires for a big man, preferably from the Western Conference, on First Take.
Things got weird when LaMarcus Aldridge was seen at Logan Airport after supposedly seeing Thomas for dinner. Could this mean Isaiah Thomas's recruiting techniques may be working?
First, let's go over a few things.
Current NBA players being asked to recruit is not a new idea. For years, GMs have asked their most influential players to help them out a bit, because after all, many of these guys know each other and have special connections. Last summer, Joakim Noah heavily pursued Carmelo Anthony through Twitter, meet-ups, and phone calls. His effort was impressive but quickly shot down after Anthony re-signed with the Knicks. Many players have tried recruiting free agents, some succeed, most fail. It is hard to remember the last time a player was targeted, heavily contacted, and decided to sign soon after. How often does player recruiting actually work?
The answer: rarely.
Isaiah can try to recruit players like LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, and DeAndre Jordan, but the truth is, it probably won't work. I hate being a Debby Downer, but these players are grown ups looking out for themselves. I am sure some free agents make their decision based on the players they will be joining, but big name guys like Aldridge and Gasol will go where they see the best fit and are offered the best money. Isaiah's sneaky Twitter moves are not helping.
Going to Spain next week. Maybe I run into a really talented big man LOL— Isaiah Thomas (@Isaiah_Thomas) June 12, 2015
In the end, these free agent big men will decide if they want to wear green or not; it won't be based on how heavily pursued they were. Isaiah can post all the tweets he wants, it probably won't help.