NBA

Danny Ainge describes talk with Isaiah Thomas as 'one of the most difficult conversations ever'

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The Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers have officially finalised the trade swapping All-Star point guards Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas.

Irving was granted his wish after he requested a trade away from Cleveland and will now have an opportunity to be the focal point of a franchise. 

For Thomas, it's a move that hasn't gone down too well with him after he spent a successful two and a half years in Boston. 

According to his namesake Isiah Thomas, the move has left him "wounded". After being traded to the Celtics in 2015 from the Phoenix Suns, I.T has enjoyed his most successful years in the Celtic green. 

The 5'9" guard played a major role in helping the team get back to winning ways and competing for a championship. 

Thomas enjoyed a career year last season as he averaged 28.9 points per game on 46.3 percent shooting. 

That coincided with the C's making it to the Eastern Conference Finals, where Isaiah's season was cruelly ended by injury. 

The 28-year-old became a two-time All-Star in Beantown and also made it to the All-NBA team as he blossomed into an elite player. 

He was a fans' favourite in Boston and the decision to trade him was surely a difficult one for the Celtics. 

Being a general manager in the NBA requires you to make tough choices and to explain them to the players involved. 

For Celtics GM Danny Ainge, his talk with Thomas was different to anything he'd ever experienced before. 

“It was one of the most difficult conversations I ever had,” Ainge told CSN. “I.T., everybody in Boston is grateful for I.T. and all that he’s done.”

Boston has now put together a big three in the form of Irving, Al Horford and Gordon Hayward - who they acquired in free agency. 

Thomas was instrumental in convincing Horford and Hayward to make the move to Massachusetts as he attended the team's pitch to both players over the last two years.

He also led all scorers in the east and that allowed the organisation to offer the Cavs a package featuring Isaiah in order to land Irving. 

“We wouldn’t be here today with Kyrie and Gordon and Al Horford, if I.T. didn’t exist,” Ainge said. “If I.T. hadn’t helped us get back on the map. . . we’re probably not sitting here having this press conference. Gordon Hayward probably isn’t impressed with the team. Horford and everything else.”

Thomas is still suffering from his hip injury and reportedly may not be ready for a return until after the All-Star break which means he will be taking to the court for the opening night encounter between the Cavaliers and Celtics on 17 October.

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Isaiah Thomas

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