Isaiah Thomas was stunned when the Suns dealt him right before the trade deadline but he wasn’t surprised the Celtics wanted him, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reports. Thomas, who has three years and approximately $19.76MM remaining on his contract after this season, expected Goran Dragic to be traded but thought he’d remain with the club that acquired him in a sign-and-trade deal with the Kings last summer, according to Kennedy’s story. Boston’s Danny Ainge was the first GM to contact Thomas when the free agency period began in July and had been intrigued by Thomas’ skills since Thomas was a college prospect, Thomas told Kennedy. Thomas, who was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday, is excited about his role with the Celtics and hopes to remain with the team in the long term, Kennedy adds.
In other news around the league:
- Marquee draft prospect Emmanuel Mudiay is once more playing with China’s Guangdong Southern Tigers months after it appeared his overseas stint was at an end, as Nick Bedard of Basketball Buddha notes. Mudiay is the No. 2 ranked prospect in Eddie Scarito’s Hoops Rumors Prospect Power Rankings, while Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranks him third and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has the point guard fourth.
- Mirza Teletovic, a restricted free agent after the season, wants to remain with the Nets, Alex Raskin of the Wall Street Journal tweets. Teletovic is out for the season after he was diagnosed with multiple blood clots in his lungs in January. Teletovic was averaging 8.5 points and 4.9 rebounds in 40 games this season before the diagnosis.
- The Hawks recalled Mike Muscala from the D-League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team announced on Monday, Muscala, who appeared in six games with the Mad Ants, is averaging 3.6 points and 2.1 rebounds in 20 games with Atlanta this season and gives the club some frontcourt depth.
- The Sixers wanted to give JaVale McGee an opportunity to finish out the season with a playoff team, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said to Mannix it was “the right thing to do.” Several playoff teams are interested in McGee, who was acquired by the Sixers in a trade last month.