Isaiah Thomas: “I Just Want A Legit Opportunity”

Isaiah Thomas made an emotional return to the TD Garden on Monday, a place where he helped carry an up-and-coming Celtics team to the Eastern Conference Finals.

“There were times after I got traded where I sat back and really thought about things that I did as an individual, the things that we had done as a team, and those were amazing moments that I will cherish for the rest of my life,” Thomas said via Tim Bontempts of ESPN.com.

Boston dealt Thomas away months after that pinnacle, and after stops in Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Denver, he hasn’t been able to find his next major role.

“I just want a legit opportunity,” Thomas said. “Whatever the role may be, it’s going to be. But I know I can play at a high level again. And if given the opportunity, I can be an All-Star, I can be All-NBA, I can be all that, because I physically feel great.”

Thomas underwent hip surgery in 2017 and his recovery has taken some time. He missed the first half of this season and he hasn’t shown the same burst on the court in 10 games with the Nuggets that he had in his peak-Boston days. Still, he’s confident that he’ll be able to thrive if given the chance to have a bigger role

“If I get an opportunity, I’m going to be ready for it,” he said. “I’m going to take full advantage of it. And when this summer comes, I’m going to just figure out what’s the best opportunity, what’s the best situation for myself and my family, and then go from there.”

Thomas has played fewer than 20 minutes in all but one appearance for the Nuggets this season. He’s no longer in the regular rotation and – barring an injury – he’s not expected to be reinserted prior to the team’s first playoff appearance since 2013.

The former All-Star is on a one-year deal that pays him slightly over $2MM. Thomas, who at one point in 2017 was expected to seek a maximum-salary deal, will be a free agent again this summer.

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17 thoughts on “Isaiah Thomas: “I Just Want A Legit Opportunity”

  1. DynamiteAdams

    huh? If you want more minutes hit the G league or China. This guy had one great season then got waaay too full of himself.

    • joeyrocafella

      Full of himself? Bro, he had hip surgery and during that time he got dealt to Cleveland, when he didn’t WANT to get dealt. How did he get full of himself when he established himself as a legitimate high level player on a team that he took to the ECF. It’s not.like he asked to be traded, he got caught in Kyrie’s nonsense and Clevekand had no need for him before they shipped him off

      • mcmillankmm

        “For my next contract, they better back up the Brinks truck.”

        I think that was the moment…

        • whodatcoon

          Uh he deserved that money. All-Star & All-NBA, literary carried the Celtics to the conference finals with the weight of the world on his shoulders, while making like 70% less than other stars his age and skills. Boston did him dirty, and they are swimming in their own waste now.

      • DynamiteAdams

        He acts like every team since Boston has forced him to the bench and diminished his roll but when hes been given starter minutes he does worse then other options on the roster. Not to mention hes always been a liability on defense. Yet he still wants starter minutes. Idk what else you would call that.

  2. Guest617

    lacking size it3’s a defensive target a liability that only a few systems could absorb. best case scenario he returns to the celtics second unit

    • Itrainsontuesday

      If the Sixers keep their Core 4 I could see him starting at PG, moving Simmons to a Point Forward Role.

  3. Spike4christ

    If you can trade an injured player for Kyrie Iriving you do it. Danny Ainge loves IT but you have to make the move if you get the chance.

    • decpat

      yeah, OK…Larry, Bill, but his run that he had leading the Celtics was legendary, much better than Kyrie’s. No question. It’s really unfortunate what has happened to him, he does deserve another chance. Wonder if teams would rather have Chris Clemons thought now

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