Friday, February 20, 2015
Celtics Trade for Isaiah Thomas, The Shorter Non-Evil One That is Nate Robinson 2.0
The 2015 NBA Trade Deadline came and went today with Boston making a sneaky big move and also a minor salary dump. The Celtics traded shooting guard Marcus Thornton (8.9 points per game) and Cleveland's 2016 first-round pick (sure to be at the end) to the Suns for point guard Isaiah Thomas (15.2 points, 3.7 assists per game). Small forward Tayshaun Prince (7.6 points per game) was sent back to Detroit (lucky him) for Swedish power forward Jonas Jerebko and Italian small forward Luigi Datome (he is sure to be a cult favorite in the North End).
The fact that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge could flip the aging Thornton (who will be a free agent this summer) for Thomas is pretty remarkable. He's very undersized (5-foot-9, 185 pounds) but the former University of Washington star has made a name for himself after only three years in the NBA. Take it with a mountain of salt since it happened in Sacramento but last season in 34.7 minutes per game Thomas averaged 20.3 points, 6.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game in 72 contests (54 starts). Phoenix made the curious decision to try and play three point guards together this season (Thomas, Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic) with mixed results-9th place in the loaded Western Conference. With all the moves they made today, the Suns are left with Bledsoe and now Brandon Knight after Dragic was shipped to Miami.
I'm not going to worry too much about Jerebko and Datome since who knows if either guy will ever put on a Celtics uniform. For what it's worth, (my name is) Jonas averaged 5.2 points and 3.1 rebounds per game while Luigi averaged 3.7 points per game in very limited action. It got to the point recently where Detroit (21-33) had basically phased them both out of the rotation (well not like Datome was ever in that anyway) entirely so what else has to be said?
Boston's (20-31) first game after the All-Star break ironically enough is in Sacramento (18-34) tomorrow night (10, CSN). Through the magic of the god-awful Eastern Conference, the Celts are only 1.5 games behind Miami (22-30) for eighth-place. If you are like me and you see absolutely no point for them to make the playoffs this season, we got some good news late tonight as the team announced that Jared Sullinger is out indefinitely with a foot injury. It is not surprising that a fat guy like him seems to break down every year but he is one of their best players that they have to build around so yikes.