The Boston Celtics might be an NBA title contender in 2017-18, but it is not without the help of the previous core.
"We built that," Thomas said, including Jae Crowder, per Ryne Nelson of Slam. "But it's all good. It's the business of it."
He also made sure to note that he has "no hard feelings toward anybody" based on the way things ended up.
Thomas was traded along with Crowder, Ante Zizic and draft picks for Irving, providing Boston with a newer All-Star point guard. Meanwhile, the other former All-Stars on the Celtics current roster, Hayward and Horford, signed as free agents over the past two years in order to join a contender that Thomas helped create.
Boston was just 25-57 in 2013-14, but the guard's play helped turn things around. He arrived in a trade in 2015 and turned himself into an All-Star in each of the last two seasons. He helped the squad earn 48 and then 53 wins over the past two years.
Avery Bradley, Crowder and Kelly Olynyk also had a hand in the quick rebuild but will not be on the team next season.
The Celtics enter 2017-18 in great shape with 8-1 odds to win an NBA title, third best in the league according to Odds Shark. However, the squad wouldn't have gotten to that point without the play of some of those now left behind.