Isaiah Thomas is Boston’s best player, but he knows the Celtics need another star to compete for a championship and doesn’t mind if they give big bucks to a free agent before him.
“We need the best possible player that’s gonna help us win, and I’m with that,” Thomas told reporters on Friday.
“Anything Danny (Ainge) and this organization need me to do to help bring even more talent to this city, I’m all for that. I want to win a championship and being so close to getting to the Finals, that makes you want it that much more.”
Thomas, who’s entering the last year of his contract and will make $6.3 million, is coming off the kind of season that could get him a hefty extension and says “that time will come.”
But Boston has the number one pick in the NBA Draft, and with the Celtics widely expected to select Washington point guard Markelle Fultz, there’s some speculation about whether Thomas is in their long-term plans.
Many pundits even argue that Boston is better without him.
Thomas shrugs off any such talk.
“It’s always something. I’m fine with it though. That’s been my whole life,” the 5-foot-8 point guard told reporters.
“I remember earlier this year I got hurt and we beat Orlando by like 30 and [pundits] were like, ‘Maybe he shouldn’t come back.’
“I kind of laugh at it now, the people who say stupid things like that. But it is what it is. You can’t please everybody, and I’m happy for my teammates though. (We won) Game 3 and we almost had Game 4; I was at home cheering and getting even more hyped, jumping up. So, this team, I love this team and I don’t think anybody in this organization would think this team is better without me. I don’t even think my teammates would say that. That’s just the confidence we have in each other. But I’ll leave that to other people who think that.”
Thomas missed the last three games of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cavaliers with a hip injury and says he’s not sure if he’ll need surgery, saying it’s “not the number one option right now.”
“No matter what happens, let’s make sure I come back even better,” he told reporters.
“And I will.”