The Boston Celtics secured the biggest deal of the offseason by acquiring All-Star Kyrie Irving from Eastern Conference rivals the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The trade came at a cost for the Celtics, however, as they had to give up point guard Isaiah Thomas in return.
The deal also included Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 unprotected first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick via the Miami Heat.
But the decision to offload Thomas was a tough one for the Celtics as the dynamic guard blossomed into a two-time All-Star in Boston and was a real fans' favourite.
General manager Danny Ainge already described the day he broke the news to Isaiah as "one of the most difficult conversations" he'd ever had.
Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas revealed that he spoke to his namesake following the trade and said he was "wounded" by the news and wasn't in a good state emotionally.
Up until now, I.T has been silent on the trade to the Cavaliers but he finally opened up about how he felt about the move in a special 3,500-word article published in The Players' Tribune on Wednesday.
"I’ll just say it: That s--- hurt. It hurt a lot," said Thomas. "And I won’t lie — it still hurts.
"It’s not that I don’t understand it. Of course I get it: This is a business. Danny is a businessman, and he made a business move. I don’t agree with it, just personally, and I don’t think the Boston Celtics got better by making this trade. But that’s not my job. That’s Danny’s. And it’s a tough job, and he’s been really good at it.
"But at the end of the day, these deals just come down to one thing: business. So it’s no hard feelings on that end. I’m a grown man, and I know what I got into when I joined this league — and so far it’s been more blessings than curses. I’m not sitting here, writing this, because I feel I was wronged. I wasn’t wronged. It was Boston’s right to trade me."
The 28-year-old was the final pick in the 2011 draft and was largely a role player with the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns before he joined the Celtics.
He defied all the odds by becoming a star in Beantown, even despite his 5'9" frame. What he lacked in size, he made for in heart and gave everything for the green uniform as he led them to the number one spot in the east and the Conference Finals last season.
Even though he feels sad about his departure from Boston, Thomas was classy enough to acknowledge the role the franchise played in elevating his career.
"The Boston Celtics let me have a chance to be great," Thomas said. "And I'll never forget that."