Celtics president Danny Ainge is ruthless.
He traded Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce after those two led Boston to a title. Then, after a rebuilt team won 53 games and reached the conference finals, Ainge turned over 11 of 15 roster spots – including sending Isaiah Thomas to the Cavaliers in a package for Kyrie Irving.
Isaiah Thomas said the Boston Celtics he left behind were as shocked as he was when he was traded to the Cavaliers.
“After all you did, that’s how they do you,” Thomas said to 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.”
This is a prime example of someone using “people are saying” to convey their own thoughts. Thomas – who played his heart out and sacrificed his body while earning far less than he was worth – admitted he was hurt by the trade.
But Thomas also knows this is how the business operates. The Celtics were well within their rights to trade him just before he came due for a new contract. So, Thomas isn’t going to gripe publicly.
He apparently has many players willing to do so on his behalf.
This could ultimately hurt Boston’s reputation, especially if current Celtics feel the franchise did Thomas wrong. But I suspect it will pass, especially because Boston looks poised to win big in the foreseeable future. Despite what happened to Thomas, players will likely still sign with the Celtics if they make the best offer.