Monday, January 17, 2022

Celtics’ Brad Stevens is considering bringing back the former MVP nominee

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Former Boston Celtics MVP candidate Isaiah Thomas, who is currently on his second 10-day contract with the Dallas Mavericks after being waived by the Los Angeles Lakers last month, has been on the Celtics’ radar.

Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens confirmed this during his weekly appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s morning show Toucher & Rich.

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If Thomas were made available at the end of his current 10-day contract, Stevens raised the possibility that the Celtics could offer Isaiah a shot at a Boston comeback.

“I’m a huge Isaiah fan, always have been, and obviously recently the 10 Day stuff too; He’s had a couple of those 10 days,” Stevens said during his weekly interview with 98.5’s The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich. “We actually had a couple between his that we ended up signing. In fact, I think we signed all five of us when he was with the Lakers. I’m a big fan of his and obviously follow him from afar. Our roster situation is so complicated right now that we’ll have to get through the next month to see where it lands and how we look.

“Then we will make other decisions about whether we have spots or adds, whatever the case may be. Isaiah is everything everyone made of him. He is great.”

For Celtics fans, Thomas’ three seasons in Boston is an era in history they will never forget. Isaiah averaged 24.6 points and 6.0 assists per game in his short tenure with the team.

He also made two All-Star appearances (2016, 2017), finished third in the league in points per game in 2016-17, and led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals before finishing fifth for MVP honors.

“I think every team benefits from that and obviously there are a lot of factors in terms of the roster and each team in particular and each team’s situation, contractually and in terms of flexibility etc. that go into those decisions,” Stevens said Thomas’ determination and work ethic. “But any team benefits from that kind of energy and that kind of leadership and people who can play multiple roles and things like that.”

Meanwhile, the Celtics are awaiting Marcus Smart’s next health update — which should help Stevens determine Boston’s next roster move if that’s a move likely to help the Celtics in the short term or beyond. Smart, who sustained a bruised right thigh, was eliminated in Monday night’s matchup against the Indiana Pacers at TD Garden and never returned.

“Well, I don’t know who listed it as a likely return. So I would think that would have been a mistake in a listing,” Stevens laughed. “When he was hit, he was kneeled down in the quad. I don’t know if you saw it, he was kneeled down by (Domantas) Sabonis on one of those screens and I’m pretty sure any other kneeled down by Sabonis would have taken at least a few days of it to get along with to recover from a deep bruise.

“So there he is. He was struggling to move Tuesday morning before they left for Indy and obviously couldn’t walk yesterday – he’s day to day.

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