Since arriving in Boston from the Phoenix Suns on the 2015 trade deadline, Isaiah Thomas has been enjoying life at the TD Garden.
After finishing off the 2014-15 campaign strongly with the Celtics, the diminutive point guard is in the midst of a breakout season - a fact made clear by his first ever All-Star appearance.
Thomas' recent emergence as one of the NBA's top playmakers hasn't gone unnoticed back at his old stomping ground, however. Speaking this week, Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough admitted trading Thomas to Boston was his biggest regret.
“I think in retrospect trading Isaiah Thomas when we did was a mistake,” McDonough told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM when asked about the February 2015 deal.
“I think sometimes in the recruitment process things sound better in July (luring Thomas in free agency) than they do in November.
“He wanted more, he wanted a bigger role and I understand why: He’s a talented player,” continued the Phoenix GM as he spoke to Jon Bloom and Greg Esposito.
“In retrospect, we should have carried him into the summer. If there’s one (decision) that stands out, if I could get a mulligan, that’d be it.”
Thomas was only with the Suns for six months after arriving for the 2014-15 season in a sign-and-trade deal with the Sacramento Kings.
Despite some solid performances - averaging 15.2 points and 3.7 assists in 25.7 minutes per game - he was moved on, with Phoenix having Eric Bledsoe as their starting point guard and Thomas having grown frustrated at a lack of time on the court.
Strength to strength
The 27-year-old has gone from strength to strength since, becoming the leading light in a Boston team that is currently sitting in third place in the Eastern Conference - averaging a career-high 21.6 points and 6.8 assists in the process.
His selection to the 2016 All-Star game, too, would suggest McDonough is right to want to wind back the clock and keep the point guard on his roster.
However, with Bledsoe still around, it is unlikely Thomas would have been able to have the same impact in Phoenix as he is having with the Celtics.
Still, with the rest of the NBA seeing the fruits of his increased role, it would have been a nice option to have for the 14-44 Suns
The life of an NBA GM is always going to be swings and roundabouts and, in McDonough's defense, he isn't the first front office employee to sleep on the 5ft 9 inch star. Thomas was the 60th overall pick in the 2011 draft.