Isaiah Thomas loved it in Boston and he doesn’t understand the trade that sent him to Cleveland. You can dice it up any way you want, but that’s the truth. It’s not that Thomas doesn’t want to be in Cleveland, where he hopes to get healthy soon enough to compete for an NBA title (hey he’s on LeBron’s team; LeBron hasn’t missed the Finals in eight years). Thomas just thinks Celtics GM Danny Ainge made a video game level trade, where he gave away a royal flush for an ace. That was August 22, when Kyrie Irving — already green with envy about LeBron James being the man — went all in on green and became a Celtic. Ainge gave up Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and two first rounders in the next three years to get him. Nuts, thinks Thomas. “None of it made any sense,” Thomas told Sports Illustrated.
Last year in Celtics green Thomas was an legit MVP candidate. He told Lee Jenkins at SI that 2017 sticks out so far as the “best year of my career” and the “worst year of my life.” That’s only partly because of the trade and the torn labrum (and subsequent surgery) he’s had to handle. (Thomas has said he has to “learn patience” to rehab the injury.) The biggest reason Thomas’s year was the worst is that his sister was killed in a tragic car accident. Next year will be better, no matter how long it takes him to recover. When he comes back, he’ll be a key cog on a contender. But last spring he scored 20-plus points in 40 straight games for the Celtics and his whole family was around to see it. It isn’t just the trade that doesn’t make any sense when things happen like what happened to Thomas’s sister. It sometimes feels like nothing makes a whole lot of sense. Thomas has overcome every obstacle life has thrown in his path so far. He’s a bad guy to bet against — and probably a bad guy to trade. Ainge may find out.