Concerns over injured hip played factor in trading Isaiah Thomas
There’s a laundry list of reasons why it made sense for the Celtics to trade for Kyrie Irving on Tuesday night.
Even at the expense of Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the unprotected 2018 Brooklyn first-round pick.
“His age is a great fit,” Celtics president Danny Ainge said of Irving in a conference call hours after the trade went down. “His age and experience is a great fit for us. With where we are with some of our younger players, his ability to score in a variety of ways—shooting from the three and getting to the basket—is elite. He’s shown that the past three years in the NBA Finals. At the young age of 25, it’s very unique and very special, what he’s been able to accomplish against the best competition in the world.”
But it’s the health (or lack thereof) of the most important piece leaving Boston, the 28-year-old Thomas, that certainly seemed to play a role in Ainge’s decision.
“Some,” Ainge said when asked if Thomas’ hip injury, which is still without a clear resolution less than a month before the start of training camp, was a factor in trading him. “There’s going to be probably a little bit of a delay for Isaiah as he starts the season this year. I think that Isaiah should be fine and healthy as the season goes along.”
Despite posting a career-best 28.9 points per game and finishing fifth in MVP voting last season, the C’s were obviously expecting Thomas to get a somewhat late start on his season, and truthfully seemed like a club still in the dark when it came to how the injury would affect Thomas in the future. Celtics coach Brad Stevens basically said as much during his podcast appearance with Chris Mannix earlier this week, noting that another round of tests awaited Thomas upon his return to Boston, and that realization of course opened the door.
Yet, that is not to suggest that it made this anything close to an easy call for the Celtics, especially after what was a truly captivating year from the 5-foot-9 guard.
“Isaiah had just an amazing season this year and entertained us all—the whole city of Boston,” Ainge admitted. “And everybody fell in love with him. He’s such an underdog because of his size and his heart and his spirit in which he plays. And it was very challenging to make this decision.”
Full article @ Concerns over injured hip played factor in trading Isaiah Thomas
Source: GreenStreet Blog