Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas would 'love' to return to Celtics, but is the feeling mutual?

Isaiah Thomas would 'love' to return to Celtics, but is the feeling mutual?

Isaiah Thomas just wants another NBA opportunity, even if it's with the team that shipped him out of town two and a half years ago.

In an interview Thursday with HoopsHype's Alex Kennedy, the free-agent point guard said he'd be open to the returning to the Celtics on the buyout market and harbors no ill will toward Boston for trading him in August 2017.

"For sure, if the opportunity presented itself," Thomas told Kennedy. "I hold no grudges, and they know that. 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."

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The Washington Wizards traded Thomas to the Clippers on Feb. 6, but Los Angeles waived the 31-year-old two days later, making him a free agent.

Thomas told Kennedy he's spoken to "several teams" interested in signing him and that there are "no questions" about his health after he played in 31 of a possible 40 games for the Wizards, averaging 12.2 points and 3.7 assists per contest.

Still, it sounds like the Celtics aren't interested in a reunion; C's president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said last week he doesn't view Thomas as a good fit for the team right now.

The Celtics are pretty well-stocked at point guard, with Brad Wanamaker and rookie Carsen Edwards (in addition to G-League All-Star Tremont Waters) backing up All-Star starter Kemba Walker.

While there's obviously sentimental value in bringing the fan favorite back to Boston, it's more likely Thomas gets scooped up by another playoff contender that needs backcourt bench depth.

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Danny Ainge admits nothing on buyout market interests Celtics right now, including Isaiah Thomas

Danny Ainge admits nothing on buyout market interests Celtics right now, including Isaiah Thomas

The Boston Celtics didn't make any moves ahead of last week's NBA trade deadline, which means the buyout market is their lone avenue to improve the roster before the NBA playoffs begin in April.

There hasn't been a ton of movement on the buyout market so far, and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday morning that nothing is in the works for Boston at the moment.

"There's nothing on the buyout market that we're interested in doing right now," Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Toucher & Rich" show. "But we're going to continue to evaluate that all the way up until March 1."

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Does that mean no Isaiah Thomas return in Boston?

"Not right now," Ainge said. "We're not doing anything at this moment. I love Isaiah, I'm not sure that he's the right fit for us, but I'm not sure that he's not. We're still evaluating to see who comes available on the open market. We're hoping that maybe somebody that's more of a need and a better fit, but who knows, we'll see."

Thomas began the season with the Washington Wizards, who sent him to the Los Angeles Clippers as part of a three-team trade on a deadline day that also included the New York Knicks. The Clippers waived Thomas, making him an unrestricted free agent.

"I think it's a challenge with Kemba (Walker) and Isaiah, the size at the guard position," Ainge said. "Coming off playing the Houston Rockets, as an example, their guards are huge. James Harden and Russell Westbrook are incredible athletes with power and strength. I think that makes it tough. I don't think that that is a great fit for our team right now. But again, Isaiah has skills, he has talents that we could use -- 3-point shooting and scoring. But we've talked about this, whenever you trying to fill a hole, you're creating another hole most of the time, unless that player is a two-way, big, solid player. We could use some of the things he does on a positive side, and his size and defense are not ideal for our team because we already have a small guard we have to work around in some matchups."

Players must be waived by March 1 to have playoff roster eligibility on their new teams, so there's still a few weeks for Ainge and the Celtics to look for upgrades.

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Celtics fans plead for Isaiah Thomas to return to Boston if waived

Celtics fans plead for Isaiah Thomas to return to Boston if waived

An Isaiah Thomas-Boston reunion would be very satisfying for Celtics fans near and far.

Thomas was traded from the Washington Wizards to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, but he will reportedly be waived by L.A. If that happens, Thomas will be on the buyout market and available to sign with any team.

Where will he land? Well, C's fans certainly made their feelings known following Thomas' recent tweet thanking the Wizards organization.

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We can't even explain how many responses to Thomas' tweet were along the lines of "come back to Boston!" because there were so many. You can really feel the love for Thomas in Boston.

However, our Celtics insiders A. Sherrod Blakely and Chris Forsberg believe Thomas wouldn't necessarily fit in with the C's right now.