According to Stadium and The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Los Angeles Lakers will not be offering Isaiah Thomas a second 10-day contract and he’ll become a free agent. Charania reports that several teams are “expected to express interest” in IT.
The Celtics should be one of them.
Thomas wasn’t exactly the King of the 4th in his four-game stint in Los Angeles, but he did show that he still belongs in the league after a lengthy comeback has seen him bounce around from team-to-team for the last four years.
"I'm beyond motivated ... It's not motivated by anything else beyond the love of the game."@isaiahthomas sits down with @ShamsCharania to discuss his comeback push and signing in the G League. pic.twitter.com/l4M1b64eGz— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) December 14, 2021
Thomas told Charania two weeks ago that “I’m beyond motivated and it’s not motivated by anything else but the love of the game. I love the game so much that I’m going to do whatever it takes to get back to where I truly believe where I belong and where I deserve to be. I just want another chance while being healthy. That’s all I want.”
The first player the Celtics signed to a 10-day contract due to the league’s hardship exception was Justin Jackson on December 18. Six days later, he was placed in health and safety protocols and will most likely spend the rest of his time with Boston having played just two minutes of garbage time in green.
With Boston still with seven players in the protocol including Dennis Schroder, Josh Richardson, and Aaron Nesmith, there could be a need for another ball handler and scorer off the bench. Payton Pritchard has filled in admirably and even made a case for rotational minutes if the roster ever gets healthy, but having just another body in the back court could be necessary in a break glass in case of emergency basis.
Admittedly, Thomas isn’t just another body for Celtics fans. Forget that he was an MVP candidate in 2017. Forgive the powers that be that traded him for Kyrie Irving the following summer. This is Isaiah Thomas and Boston and the love affair between a superstar and a city that loves him.
After returning from Minnesota early Tuesday morning, the Celtics will play six of their next seven games at TD Garden. Remember that warm welcome that Joe Johnson received when he iso’d and hit that mid-range jumper to close out the Cleveland game? Multiply that by 1000.
Look, every move the front office makes should always be about winning. Every draft pick, free agent signing, and trade should be motivated by raising Banner 18 to the rafters. There’s no doubt about that. But in yet another season where the team is battling injuries and inconsistency, we all could use a win of a different sort heading into the new year. It may not matter in the record books in the end, but I can’t imagine a more touching moment this season than seeing Thomas back on the parquet. However manufactured or maybe misguided it may seem, that opportunity could potentially be here and we should embrace it with open arms.
Should the Celtics bring back Isaiah Thomas on a 10-day contract?
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