Celtics Rumors: Isaiah Thomas Reunion Eyed; Brad Stevens 1 of PG's 'Biggest Fans'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 2, 2021

New Orleans Pelicans' Isaiah Thomas (24) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Isaiah Thomas could be making an NBA return in Boston.

Marc Stein reported the Celtics have expressed an interest in a reunion with Thomas, with Brad Stevens being "one of Thomas’ biggest fans." Stevens is in his first offseason as president of basketball operations after stepping away from his coaching duties.

Thomas played three games for the New Orleans Pelicans last season and has seen his career take a significant nosedive over the last four seasons amid injury issues. His last season in Boston (2016-17) was the most productive of his career, with Thomas averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists on his way to an All-Star berth.

Beloved in Boston for his embrace of the team culture, Thomas played through a hip injury in the 2017 playoffs before reaggravating it. The Celtics traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers the following offseason as part of a deal for Kyrie Irving, creating significant bad blood. Many around the league felt the Celtics' trade of an injured Thomas was in poor taste, and Thomas himself admitted to being hurt by the situation.

Enough time seemingly has passed for Thomas to be open to a return.

"For sure, if the opportunity presented itself. I hold no grudges, and they know that," Thomas told Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype in 2020. "I have genuine love for the city of Boston. If that were to happen, I'd love to be part of what they have going on. You never know. I'm always open for any opportunity to be in the NBA and play the game that I love at the highest level. If that opportunity presents itself, for sure. Time has passed." 

The Celtics would likely target Thomas on a contract for the veteran minimum, making him a potential bargain if his body holds up.