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Isaiah Thomas didn't deserve this. Not one bit.

The NBA is a business and that's the explanation for all of this upfront. But it doesn't justify Isaiah being dragged through the mud for the last 10 days.

The Celtics did him wrong by trading him. Sure, they ostensibly got an upgrade in Kyrie Irving. But this was IT's team and he gave his heart and soul for them. On one occasion, even his front tooth. At the end of the day, his time in Boston wasn't just about getting the Brink's Trucks backed up to his house.

He gave supreme effort to prove his worth on a daily basis. He built up an emotional connection with the Celtics' fan base through his hard work and willingness to play through anything and drive through anyone just to score and lead his team to a win.

And he helped build this team: He went out of his way each of the last two offseasons to help Danny Ainge pursue Al Horford, Kevin Durant and Gordon Hayward.

He gets paid back with a trade.

There's no precedent for the best player on a conference finalist getting traded to a direct competitor. On top of that, he's not even the most valued piece in the deal for the opposing team. He has every right to be mad and it won't be shocking to see him return healthy and ready to stick it the Celtics. It would just be Isaiah being Isaiah.

And the Cleveland Cavaliers did him wrong with everything post-physical. They made him out to be damaged goods, trying to extract some extra value after already knowing he was dealing with a hip issue. Putting out rumors that his hip injury was worse than expected depresses his free agent value a year from now. Perhaps significantly.

And for what? A second-round pick three years down the road? You can't tell me that was worth the hit to Isaiah when Dan Gilbert simply could have ponied up $3 million for a mid-second round pick if he really needed one.

Isaiah got the short end of the stick with everything involving this deal. Now his rehab will be in the spotlight with LeBron James and co., hoping for a title run in what could be his final season as a Cavalier. His market next offseason took a hit from the trade itself and now could be even worse with the renegotiation.

But at the same time, he's gotten the short end with so many things in his career. Taken 60th overall. Let go by the Kings. Traded by the Suns. Maybe this is how it has to be for Thomas, getting dealt from the Celtics in inglorious fashion after his fantastic yet heartbreaking playoff run. Just another hurdle for him to overcome.

So this isn't what he deserved. But knowing what he did in Boston and every situation before that, this is hardly the time to count out Isaiah. He'll be back.


Photos: Adam Glanzman/Getty (Top photo), Maddie Meyer/Getty (Bottom)

Follow Steven Tydings on Twitter @StevenTydings

Steven Tydings 8/31/2017 02:24:00 AM Edit
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