With the dust settling on the biggest trade of the NBA offseason, Isaiah Thomas was finally introduced as a Cleveland Cavaliers player on Thursday.
The Cavs traded All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the rights to Brooklyn Nets' 2018 unprotected first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick via the Miami Heat.
It's been over two weeks since the deal was initially agreed upon between the two teams but Isaiah had been silent throughout the process until finally deciding to speak out about the trade and how he felt about it this week.
Prior to Thursday's press conference with the Cavaliers, IT published an emotional article on The Players' Tribune where he expressed his "hurt" at being traded by Boston after spending two and a half years with the franchise.
The 28-year-old became a two-time All-Star with the Celtics and played a huge role in rebuilding the team to a competitive level again.
He averaged a career-high 28.9 points a game last season as he led the C's to the Eastern Conference Finals where, unfortunately, a hip injury ended his season in game two against Cleveland.
Thomas was also named to the All-NBA team for the first time in his career and grew into a legitimate star in Boston.
But all good things come to an end and the dynamic point guard will now be taking his talents to Ohio and competing for a championship.
Isaiah admitted that the thought of leaving Boston was initially tough for him but he now has a feeling of real excitement at the opportunity to play with LeBron James and a hugely talented Cavs roster.
”I’m excited to play with the best player in the world,” said Thomas. “I’ve been in situations before where things have been a little tough and we haven’t had the best players, but we just kept fighting and worked for what we had. Being put in this situation on the court is everything.
"To play with the best player in the world, to play with a guy like Kevin Love and J.R. Smith and Derrick Rose and to be coached by a guy like Tyronn Lue who’s played in this league for a long time, it’s like I said in my Player’s Tribune piece, it’s like a match made in heaven."
IT was often the go-to guy in Boston and took on the responsibility of scoring and commanded double and triple teams as a result.
In Cleveland, however, he believes the chance to play with multiple scorers will give him more freedom and make them a tough proposition.
”It’s a scary thing if everything’s able to click – with the guys coming in and the guys we have on this team," he said. "I’m excited and I can’t wait to get going.”