Boston Celtics president and general manager Danny Ainge has shipped Isaiah Thomas to Cleveland knowing that the pocket-sized guard is nursing an ailing hip — one that he sees as an impediment for Thomas’ readiness to play right away once the new season kicks in this October.
That much was known from a sound recording posted by BG Sports on Soundcloud late Tuesday in which Ainge was asked whether Thomas’ current hip trouble factored into the Celtics’ decision to trade the team’s leading scorer to the Cavaliers.
“There’s going to be probably a little bit of delay for Isaiah as he starts the season this year. But I think that Isaiah should be fine and healthy as the season goes along.”
Thomas was slowed down by the same injury in the last playoffs, which caused him to play in just the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals series against Cleveland. It’s likely that the Celtics would still lose that series to the Cavs even if Thomas was healthy, but his presence sure would’ve made it more competitive and less embarrassing for Boston, which had an average losing margin of 25.7 points in the four losses they absorbed from Cleveland.
Thomas has no set date yet for a return, but hopefully for basketball fans, he’ll be healthy enough to play against his former team on October 17, when the Celtics pay Cleveland a visit for both teams’ season openers.