When two-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas found out that he had been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers last month, he was admittedly surprised. It wasn’t just Thomas who was caught a bit off guard by the deal, though. His former Celtics teammates were also taken aback.
“After all you did, that’s how they do you,” Thomas told Joe Vardon of cleveland.com. “That was everybody’s text message. … I can’t control that and my teammates know what I meant to that team and the organization knows and that’s what matters the most. The people I was around each and every day.
“But I think not just myself, everybody was surprised. Everybody.”
Along with Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic, Thomas, now 28 years of age, was formally welcomed to the team on Thursday by way of a live press conference from Cleveland Clinic Courts.
“It definitely caught me off guard, but it also woke me up,” Thomas said of being traded. “It made me realize that this is a business and anybody other than probably LeBron James or Kevin Durant or those type of guys can be traded. I prayed on it, I thought about it, I slept on it and I’m thankful for this opportunity.
“I’m blessed to be able to be traded to a situation where–realistically– we can win a championship next year.”
As most hoops fans know, Thomas went through quite a bit last season with regards to his personal life. His sister, Chyna, passed away at the scene of a car crash in April. Despite that loss, Thomas pressed on to finish with some of the best statistical figures of his career.
In 76 appearances for the Celtics during their 2016-17 campaign, the former Washington Husky averaged a career-high 28.9 points on 46 percent shooting from the field (career-high), 5.9 assists, 2.7 rebounds, and just under one steal (.9) in 33.8 minutes per outing.
While it’s true that Thomas could miss some time at the beginning of the 2017-18 season due to his lingering hip injury, there is no doubt that he is working hard towards a return to action.