When Isaiah Thomas got traded to the Los Angeles Clippers last week and then waived by the club, it was hard not to drum up the idea of Thomas rejoining his former team in Boston.
But Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge put an end to that notion Thursday when speaking on the Toucher & Rich Morning Show on 98.5 The Sport’s Hub.
While Thomas, who spent two-plus seasons in Boston and is averaging 12.2 points and 3.7 assists per game this year, could be a scoring threat off the bench, Ainge believes the veteran point guard wouldn’t be the best fit with this incarnation of the Celtics.
Ainge continued on to say that the Celtics would keep monitoring who is and becomes available and their own team needs to see if there is a fit down the line.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) February 13, 2020
Players must be waived by 3/1 to be eligible for the playoffs with a new team.
And even though Thomas’s services are available along with a slew of other players who could hit the buyout market, including potentially Evan Turner and Tristan Thompson, the Celtics seem content on standing pat at the moment.
“There’s nothing on the buyout market that we’re interested in doing right now,” Ainge said, “but we’re going to continue to evaluate that all the way up to March 1.”
The Celtics do have areas of weakness they could address, like their big man depth, by signing a player off the buyout market.
The Celtics may have to go up against two of the NBA’s elite big men in the playoffs in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid, but Ainge likes what the C’s have gotten out of Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter.
“I can think of only one game this year where we were dominating by an inside presence,” Ainge said. “That was [Joel] Embiid earlier in the year. We’ve done a much better job on him since.”
Ainge added: “I’m not worried about that position nearly as other people seem to be worried about it.”
Danny Ainge, on @Toucherandrich: "I can think of only one game this year where we were dominating by an inside presence. That was [Joel] Embiid earlier in the year. We've done a much better job on him since."— Boston.com Celtics News (@BDCCeltics) February 13, 2020
Maybe easing Ainge’s concerns about the Celtics center position is the return of second-year big man Robert Williams.
Williams, who hasn’t play since Dec. 6 due to a left hip bone edema, is making progress in his long recovery and is expected to see game action sometime around March 1.
“He’s excited and enthusiastic,” Ainge said. “He’s moving in the right direction.”