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Isaiah Thomas spoke with the media yesterday before his exit interview with Danny Ainge and the Celtics front office. Asked about whether or not he'd like to get an extension this offseason he joked that he'd love a raise. Via Jay King of MassLive:

"(An extension) means more money? Yeah, I would love that," Thomas smiled Friday before an exit interview with the Celtics front office. "But if it don't happen, I'm the last person to be bothered by that. I know everything happens for a reason, so when my time comes, I know it will come and I'll be -- God will bless me."

Thomas is on perhaps the most cost efficient contract in the NBA. Coming off a year in which he finished 3rd in the league in scoring Thomas made just over $6.5 million for his 2016-17 MVP-esque season, and he's set to receive a slight decrease in compensation next season (he's on the books for a little over $6.2 million) due to the structure of his current deal.

Should the Celtics remain under the salary cap this offseason Thomas would be eligible for a contract extension, which could give him a raise next year and beyond, but Isaiah's biggest concern is the Celtics adding a player or players to turn them into legit contenders:

"We need the best possible player that's gonna help us win, and I'm with that. 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. I'm all help if they need it. I'll be around.

The Celtics have $61 million in guaranteed contracts on the books for next season. If they keep the 1st-overall pick in the upcoming draft that number will jump to $68 million. Should the overseas prospects Ante Zizic and Guerschon Yabusele be coming stateside next season their contracts will be bringing that total up a few million more, making it a tight squeeze for the C's to add another max-contract (about $30 million) via free agency with the salary cap expected to be just over $100 million for the 2017-18 season.

If the Celtics do get the opportunity to sign a star this offseason, oh I dunno say Gordon Hayward, it's also likely that a corresponding move would be made anyway. The C's will have a plethora of talent at the point guard and swing positions and there just won't be enough playing time to go around.

Although Jae Crowder was the one who got mad at Celtics fans for cheering for Hayward at the Garden earlier this year my guess would be that Avery Bradley would be the odd man out, mostly based on the fact that he's going into the final year of his contract and will likely command quite a bit on the open market when he hits free-agency in 2018. He could be paired with Marcus Smart and/or Terry Rozier to clear some space at the point with Markelle Fultz being the likely target for the C's in the draft.

Ainge is already on the record saying there could be "significant change" to the Celtics roster this offseason. He doesn't have any disillusions that this current roster can content with Cleveland and Golden State as currently constructed. He's been building this team for the long haul but he's in the enviable position of being able to put them into contention sooner than expected without sacrificing their long term potential if he plays his cards right.


Photo Credit - Boston Globe

Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401

Mark Allison 5/27/2017 01:16:00 PM Edit
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