As the upcoming off-season steadily approaches, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has turned to one of his best players for his opinion on which free agent he would like the Celtics to go after.
Isaiah Thomas recently told the Boston Globe that Ainge reached out to him about this summer's off-season and asked for his input.
"Danny said if there's any free agent out there I'm interested in, to let him know," Thomas told Boston Globe. "That has me excited. For him to ask for my input means a lot, because it means I'm definitely, right now, a part of the future, and they also value your word and what you think about the game of basketball. It means a lot, and it's a mutual respect we have. Now, hopefully, we can get a few guys." [Boston Globe]
Thomas didn't say which free agents he had in mind but did mention what type of player he would like to see Ainge go after.
"A defensive-minded player," Thomas said. "It'd be nice to get one of those in the draft. A lot of the big men out there could definitely help us out. But I know Danny is always up to something."This is true.
Danny is always up to something and yes, the Celtics do need a defensive minded player(s); two of them would be very helpful. Last season, the C's finished last in blocked shots, they need a rim protector in the middle and a defensive player at small forward who can also score.
Ainge, with more cap space than ever, shouldn't have a problem finding a rim protector in this year's draft. There will a handful of shot blockers at all different levels scattered throughout the first round. But I don't think Ainge was asking Thomas what his mock draft board looked like. Ainge is going after the big names in this summer's free agency class and wants Thomas' opinion on which free agent will fit in best.
Thomas, who played for the University of Washington, says he helped recruit several high school players. And told Ainge that he will be doing the same for Boston at the start of free agency.
"The history behind the Boston Celtics is what you want," Thomas said. "And the city of Boston definitely is a sports city. They love their players and support their players. Really, everything you want in a basketball team and organization is here. It might not be Miami or LA with the weather, but what's most important is the culture. And I can only imagine, when we get really good, what the city would be like."That's a good pitch, Isaiah. Hopefully it'll work.