Isaiah Thomas will play against Sacramento tonight, the team Celtics fans should be thanking

It seems like forever ago, but in 2011 Isaiah Thomas was drafted by the Sacramento Kings as the 60th overall pick, (the last pick in the draft). It’s hard to believe a player of his caliber was passed up on 59 times, but then you remember well, he is 5’9’’. The NFL’s “Mr. Irrelevant” NBA equivalent didn’t take long to become relevant, in February he won Western Conference Rookie of the Month and began making a name for himself, outside of having the same name as another hall of fame point guard.

The proven scorer, who averaged 20.3 ppg for the Kings in 2013-14 agreed to a sign and trade for 4 years at $27 mil. To shed some light on how valuable this deal was, Reggie Jackson signed this offseason with the Detroit Pistons for 5 years, $80 mil. What makes Thomas’s deal even less common is that his salary, along with the cap hit, actually decreases each season ($7.23, $6.91, $6.58, $6.26).

As much as we want to thank the Kings for getting the ink on the paper, credit Danny Ainge for seeing this player with this great contract, and pouncing when he became available. Ainge traded with the Suns for IT at last season’s trade deadline for practically nothing, moving Marcus Thornton and his expiring contract and what was Cleveland’s 1st round pick.

Tonight, Thomas will play against Kings in Mexico City. He seems to be looking forward to it. Via Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:

“[Sacramento] will always be a home for me, have a special place in my heart,” said Thomas. “When the schedule came out I was looking for that Sac game and it was in Mexico. Just seeing those guys and being around them, I’m familiar with most of those guys.”

“I like playing against the Kings because I know so many people there,” he said. “It was my first NBA home, the staff members, the trainers, everybody. It’s nice to see those guys. But I’ve moved on, man. I don’t have no hard feelings toward Sacramento. I just want to beat them every time we play.”

We could see an inspired performance out of IT4 tonight against his former team. However, his matchup at point guard will be less than favorable as he faces off against a player Celtics fans should be somewhat familiar with, Rajon Rondo.

Photo Credit: Kelly L Cox/USA Today Sports

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