Celtics

Thomas on contract: 'They better bring out the Brinks truck'

Thomas on contract: 'They better bring out the Brinks truck'

LAS VEGAS – Even before he was named to his first All-Star team in February, the Boston Celtics and most of the NBA for that matter saw Isaiah Thomas as one of the best bargains out there.

Now that the salary cap has increased, Thomas’ contract is a steal in every sense of the word with the value of his contract actually decreasing in each of his final two seasons (he’s due $6.6 million for 2016-2017 and $6.2 million for 2017-2018).

Knowing he has a couple years remaining, Thomas said he definitely plans to cash in – literally – when he hits free agency in the summer of 2018.

“They better bring out the Brinks truck,” quipped Thomas during the Celtics’ summer league game on Saturday against Chicago. “They’re paying everybody else. I gotta get something.”

Indeed, Thomas has seen teammates come and go this summer due to contracts unlike anything the NBA has seen before. Former Celtic Evan Turner, a Sixth Man of the year candidate a year ago, signed a four-year, $70 million contract with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Meanwhile, Boston added Al Horford who had spent his first nine NBA seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. The Celtics inked him to a four-year, $113 million contract.

Thomas signed his current deal, a four-year, $27 million contract, back in 2014. If he were a free agent now, Thomas could potentially have landed a deal paying something close to that … per season.

Of course the ginormous salaries being handed out now are fueled by the extremely lucrative national TV deals signed by the NBA, which has raised the salary cap pass the $95 million plateau.

And a year from now, the league’s salary cap is expected to increase again.

“I’m trying not to worry about it,” Thomas said. “It’s out there. “I’m just being myself and play and hopefully that takes care of everything else.”

A. Sherrod Blakely can be followed on Twitter: @SherrodbCSN

Thomas reached out to Ainge for possible return to Celtics

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NBC Sports Boston illustration

Thomas reached out to Ainge for possible return to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas is a Denver Nugget now, having signed a one-year, $2 million veteran's minimum contract to re-establish his value in hopes of getting his free-agent payoff next year.

But he almost did that re-establishment in a very familiar place.

In an extensive interview with ESPN's Adrian Wojnaowski, Thomas said he reached out to Danny Ainge and, in the course of their 15- to 20-minute conversation said: "If the opportunity is there, I would just like to let you know that I'd love to come back" to the Celtics.

(He told the same thing to our own A. Sherrod Blakely just before signing with Denver.)

According to Wojnaowski, Ainge "was open to the idea" but had to wait until Marcus Smart's restricted-free-agency situation was settled. By the time it was -- last Friday -- Thomas had joined the Nuggets.

"S---, I'd have gone back," Thomas told Wojnaowski. "I don't hold grudges."

The ironic part is, it was his last games in a Celtic uniform that probably prevented from getting the money he thought he'd be getting in free agency this summer.

"If I didn't play in the playoffs (in 2017, when his hip injury became worse), I'd be OK," Thomas told Wojnaowski. "I'd be getting paid. I'd be who I am -- who I was. But you couldn't tell me in that moment in time -- with everything I was going through -- that, OK, I should just sit out. I don't think Boston went about it the right way, as well.

"But at the same time, it was hard for me to sit out. I just lost my sister, one of the closest people in my life. Basketball was the only thing that was going to help me out. I played until I literally couldn't play anymore. And that was not a good business decision if I was looking in the long term, but I was looking in the 'right now.' That's just what it was.

"They probably would've traded me anyway. But I would've been in position to show my worth, and last year I was never in position to show my worth."
 

Report: Celtics waive swingman Abdel Nader

Report: Celtics waive swingman Abdel Nader

The Celtics have waived swingman Abdel Nader, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reports. It opens up a roster spot perhaps for Jabari Bird or another player who impressed in Summer League play.

Nader, 24, a native of Egypt, was a second-round pick in 2016 (58th overall). The 6-6 guard/small forward averaged 3.0 points and 1.5 rebounds and shot 33.6 percent (35.4 from 3) in 48 games last season, his first in the NBA.  He's still owed $450,000 but the rest of his contract was non-guaranteed. 

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