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Isaiah Thomas making NBA comeback, signing with Suns


Thomas, who hasn't played in the NBA in two years, will join the Suns on a 10-day contract.

Former Celtics star Isaiah Thomas is back in the NBA. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Isaiah Thomas has finally found a home in the NBA again, at least for the next 10 days.

The former Celtics star will sign a 10-day contract with the Phoenix Suns. The Athletic's Shams Charania reported. It is the first time Thomas has been on an NBA roster since he was with the Hornets in the 2021-22 season, and at that time he also joined Charlotte on a 10-day contract.

Thomas, who turned 35 in February, has been looking to return to the NBA since then, but did not play professionally until joining the Utah Jazz's G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, in early March. He put up big numbers in his short tenure, scoring 32.5 points per game on 40.7 percent shooting from the field and 44.6 percent shooting from distance. He also added 5.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

The point guard played in Boston for just over two seasons, joining the team at the trade deadline in 2015 and becoming an All-Star over the next two years before the Celtics traded him in 2017. He also became into a beloved player among Celtics fans. During that time, he had one of the best stretches of play in NBA history for a player under 6 feet, as he scored 28.9 points per game in the 2016-17 season. He finished fifth in MVP voting that year as the Celtics reached the Eastern Conference finals.

But at the end of that season, Thomas suffered a hip injury that ultimately sidelined him for the rest of the postseason. The injury derailed his career, missing the first few months of the 2017-18 season with the Cavaliers before they traded him to the Lakers. He was active for the next four seasons, playing on six different teams and undergoing hip surgery twice during that span.

There was some previous criticism of Danny Ainge and the Celtics for the way they handled Thomas' hip injury and for trading him. However, Thomas said he made amends with Ainge, who is now the Jazz's CEO, and credited him with allowing him to join his G League team.

“We cut it several times,” Thomas said in a recent interview with Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.

“Danny, he helped make this happen. He connected the dots. [Stars general manager] Marquis [Newman] He welcomed me with open arms. “They just let me be me and I am very grateful.”

When the Celtics recently stopped in Utah as part of their five-game road trip, Joe Mazzulla and other staff members watched one of Thomas' games. That led to some speculation that there could be a possible reunion since Boston has an open roster spot.

Obviously, that didn't happen. But Thomas still has strong feelings for the city where he became an NBA star.

“It's true love,” Thomas told Washburn. “As you know, Boston love is real. It doesn't matter what happened in the past. All those guys still communicate with me. I'm always focused on Celtics games. That was a big part of my life. That was also an important moment in my life, so there will always be love for everyone in that organization who was helpful to me and my family. I appreciate the support. That [expletive] “It goes a long way.”

Now with the Suns, this won't be Thomas' first season in Phoenix. He signed with them in the 2014 offseason, playing 46 games with the team before being traded to the Celtics.

This time, Thomas looks to provide depth to a Suns team looking to go deep in the postseason. But they have dealt with injuries for much of the season as they don't have much depth beyond their three stars (Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal), which led them to a 39-28 record and place in the sixth place. in the Western Conference.

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