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Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas deserves a shot to play for Team USA

Isaiah Thomas wants to bring home the gold.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Listen up, Team USA Basketball. It's time to stop overlooking a candidate that deserves a shot at representing his country in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Many of the greatest players in the world are invited to play for Team USA. Some are unable to make the commitment, whether it be due to injury or because they simply need a break to recover from the grueling schedule of the NBA season. That's certainly understandable, but when one of the league's stars speaks out about wanting to participate, it's unfathomable if the committee doesn't consider him.

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas wants a chance, so why not give it to him?

Despite coming off of an All-Star campaign, Thomas wasn't among the 30 finalists competing for a spot on the Olympic squad. Do they seriously think that Thomas isn't among the top 30 players in the league?

In his breakout season, Thomas finished 11th in the league in scoring (22.2 ppg), 14th in assists (6.2 per game), 18th in EWA (13.9) and 26th in PER (21.54). Sounds like a top-30 guy to me.

His case is only strengthened when you factor in the elite talent at the guard positions that have already withdrawn themselves from consideration from the 2016 Olympic team—guys like Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, John Wall and Chris Paul. If none of those superstars are making the trip to Rio, certainly they can find room for a player of Thomas' caliber.

The opportunity to even try out for a spot would be a great honor and tremendous experience for Thomas, as it would allow him to play with some of the greatest players in the game. Surrounding himself with that type of talent will push him to improve his own game and he'll get to witness firsthand how some of the greats prepare for games.

Thomas' inclusion could also potentially benefit the Celtics. The team's lone star has been vocal about wanting to attract other elite talent to Boston this summer, so what better way to recruit said talent then by playing alongside them in the Olympics? We've seen star players bond together while playing for Team USA, forging strong friendships with players that they compete against during the NBA season.

Would now be a good time to mention that Kevin Durant will be on the team, right around the time he enters free agency?

Even if Thomas isn't able to lure the biggest fish in the pond, spending time with Team USA could allow him to try to recruit others, even if they aren't free agents. DeMarcus Cousins is expected to be on the roster, and if there is any player in the league capable of forcing a trade out of a dysfunctional situation, it's Boogie Cousins. Team USA is likely to include several scoring wing players that the Celtics would love to have, while both Jimmy Butler and Paul George have seen their names floated around the rumor mill. With Thomas whispering in their ears about how great it is to play in Boston for coach Brad Stevens, perhaps he can entice those stars to push their current teams into working out a deal with the Celtics and their treasure trove of assets.

Thomas has often gone overlooked throughout his career because of his height, but what he lacks in size he more than makes up for in heart. Representing your country in the Olympics isn't about titles or contracts, it's about pride. That makes a player's heart and determination among the key attributes that the team should be looking for, and Thomas has plenty of both.

This is a guy that wants to be there, who is willing to do whatever it takes to compete for a spot on this roster. All he needs is a chance.

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