Former Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas hasn't publicly addressed the trade that sent him to the Cleveland Cavaliers yet.
But Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas says that he has spoken to IT, and says the deal has been "a punch in the gut" for the two-time All-Star.
"He said he gave his heart and soul to the Celtics," Isiah Thomas told Cleveland.com. "He gave them everything. It's a business and we all understand that it's a business, but to have it happen in such a way for him. I think it really hurt him. I think it's going to be difficult for him to trust again, to give that trust, that loyalty, that love to another organization.
"And I definitely think the Cavs are going to have to do some relationship mending to get him back to the point where he loves being where he's at. Because he's a small guy and the thing that gets him over is his love and his passion. And if those things are kind of missing a little bit, it's going to be hard."
Thomas was traded by the Celtics along with Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets' 2018 first-round pick to the Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving.
It would take some salary-cap machinations for New York to lure Irving to play close to where he grew up in West Orange, N.J. They would likely have to risk losing Kristaps Porzingis in free agency next summer by not giving him a big-money extension this season.
There's also a potential pursuit of Kevin Durant in free agency next summer as the Knicks - playoff-less since 2013 and title-less for 45 years - make another attempt to spend their way back to relevance.
Irving has made it clear he's not going to cost himself millions by signing an extension with the C's this season ("Contractually, financially, it just doesn’t make any sense”) and is headed to free agency, so, with training camp more than a month away, get used to a season full of questions about his future. And expect the Knicks speculation to heat up before the four C's-Knicks games (Oct. 20 and Feb. 6 in New York and Nov. 21 and Dec. 6 in Boston).
A few minutes before his Rozier tweet, Ainge saw a video tweeted by Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton of Jaylen Brown showing his skills on the piano at the Berkeley campus' Sproul Plaza. Brown spent a year at Cal before being drafted by Boston in 2016.
Ainge couldn't resist a jab at Brown's ball-handling skills.