June 25, 2024

Sad news: One more regret for celtic as star player leaves club.

Isaiah Thomas is two years removed from his last NBA appearance, but the once-Boston Celtics star guard hasn’t refrained from striving for a comeback.

On Tuesday, Thomas reportedly signed with the Utah Jazz’s G-League affiliate Salt Lake City Stars, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. After years of Drew League exhibition runs and private workouts, Thomas now takes the biggest leap toward rejoining an NBA roster.

Thomas has previous ties to the organization, reaching the peak of his NBA career under now-Jazz CEO Danny Ainge, who acquired the undersized guard in a 2015 Celtics-Phoenix Suns trade — a classic Ainge fleece. Boston sent Marcus Thornton and a 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers first-rounder to Phoenix while getting 24.7 points per game on 44.3% shooting in three seasons from Thomas.

Ainge, however, also put Thomas through the wringer of the NBA’s business side, using the ex-Boston fan favorite to land Kyrie Irving ahead of the 2017-18 season. From then, Thomas, who was poised for a payday, underwent a massive decline in stock value. He underwent hip injuries which anchored his breakout run and left Thomas to sign short-term deals with the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers (twice), New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks, and most recently, the Charlotte Hornets — none of which got even a snippet of a prime formed version of Thomas.

Having gone through a handful of injuries, which sunk Thomas from a high-volume scorer to a defensive liability with offensive restrictions, the market hasn’t been too hot for the last pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Thomas gave the Celtics 110% routinely and ultimately paid the price before even getting to enjoy the fruits of his labor in free agency.

While it’s unclear what Utah envisions Thomas bringing to the table, Ainge could utilize the 5-foot-9 veteran as a mentor for a roster looking to re-establish itself in the coming years. Under Ainge, the Jazz traded away franchise star Donovan Mitchell, now of the Cavaliers, and have several big-picture decisions to make, including whether or not to keep Lauri Markkanen aboard or fully invest in a youth movement rebuild.

Isaiah Thomas says 'I am not damaged' in ESPN interview

 

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Celtics Catching More Breaks After Landslide Win Over Warriors.

Things are going so good for the Boston Celtics at the moment that they get a leg up on the competition even when they aren’t playing.

The Celtics will look to extend their win streak to 12 Tuesday night in Cleveland against the Cavaliers. The possibility of that happening got a boost Monday with the Cavaliers announcing that star guard Donovan Mitchell will miss the next three games, including the matchup with the Celtics, due to a platelet-rich plasma injection he received to treat a left knee bone bruise.

That wasn’t the only NBA injury news that impacted the Celtics. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Monday that the Phoenix Suns are “bracing” for star guard Devin Booker to be sidelined seven-to-10 days due to a right ankle sprain. That seemingly would make Booker unavailable Saturday when the Celtics take on the Suns.

Those two injuries put the Celtics in a good position to improve upon their NBA-best 48-12 record, but Boston is also dealing with injuries of its own. Kristaps Porzingis, who missed the beatdown of the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, is still dealing with a left quad contusion and is questionable to face the Cavaliers. Celtics star Jaylen Brown, who made the Warriors pay for a puzzling defensive strategy, was a new addition to the injury report and is questionable against the Cavaliers due to a left knee contusion.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Porzingis and Brown sit out Tuesday with a possible NBA Finals preview on tap Thursday when the Celtics take on the reigning champion Denver Nuggets.

The Celtics have done nothing but win over the last month — their last loss came Feb. 1 — and certainly don’t need opponents to be at less than full strength to help them remain in the win column.But Boston will take it because if the Celtics keep piling up the wins, they have a good chance of wrapping up the Eastern Conference by the end of the month.

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