Isaiah Thomas is now a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, shipped from one Eastern Conference finalist to another by the Boston Celtics.
Thomas did all he could for Boston, playing through a hip injury until he couldn’t continue, and lacing up his sneakers just one day after his sister was tragically killed in a car accident. His dedication to the franchise was unquestionable, making the trade process for Thomas a painful one.
The All-Star guard opened up on his feelings about the Celtics trading him in an emotional piece he wrote for The Players’ Tribune, explaining exactly why being cast away by Boston hurt him on such a personal level. It’s an honest moment that’s certainly worth the time to read.
While Thomas may have been down in the dumps about being traded by a franchise he wanted to represent like other Celtics greats did, one of his sons was feeling quite different than his father once he heard the news.
“James, my oldest — I guess he really is his father’s son, because he asked the same first question I did. ‘To where?’
“’Cleveland. They traded me for Kyrie.’” And I’m pretty sure you know what came next.
“’LEBRON! LEBRON JAMES! Dad — Dad. You get to play with LeBron James!’”’ Thomas wrote of his son’s reaction.
That’s the definite bright side of this situation for Thomas. He could have been sent to a team that isn’t coming off of three-straight NBA Finals, doesn’t have LeBron and Kevin Love and isn’t competitive. Instead, he gets to play with one of the greatest to ever pick up a basketball.
Whether that lasts beyond one season or not is the big question for Cleveland, Thomas and LeBron, but that’s the boat they’re in together now. There are worse things than playing with King James for 82 games and a playoff run, no doubt.
The other bright side for Thomas is that, if he really doesn’t enjoy his time playing for the Cavaliers, he’s a free agent next summer. He’s already reportedly taking steps to find a new agent to represent him, and is primed for a big pay raise after making a paltry $6.2 million in the final year of his contract.
In the meantime, Thomas is set to take on the next challenge of his career, and having LeBron as his leading teammate is a pretty good outcome. If nothing else, at least one of his sons is going to enjoy watching his father play with LeBron.