Celtics think they can get Thomas for less than the max

The summer of 2017 may not be done with just yet, but that hasn’t stopped the media and fans alike from speculating about what to expect from next year’s offseason.

One of the main topics in this case for the Celtics is regarding the looming contract extension for star point guard Isaiah Thomas. According to Zach Lowe from ESPN, Boston believe they can sign him to a deal lower than the maximum he is entitled to, around $20-23 million a year.

How true that is remains to be seen however. Thomas is a confident individual, and considering the under-priced $27 million deal he’s been playing under these last four years, it wouldn’t be a shock for him to opt for money over a chance to compete for a Championship. The Celtics weren’t the ones who signed him to the cheap contract but they have certainly been the beneficiaries of it, and Thomas could feel as if he is owed more than his market value.

NBA’s owners spent richly during the unique salary cap hike in 2016, but they learned their lesson this year and agents have found it tougher to negotiate large deals for their clients. Thomas, seen by many as good but not great due to his poor defense, may not command as much as he might think on the open market.

If I had to guess, Danny Ainge will offer Thomas around three years/ $100 million, possibly adding a player option for the final season as a sweetener on the deal. The front office showed great trust in the 28-year-old when they passed up the opportunity to draft Markelle Fultz as their future point guard. However, that doesn’t mean Boston will overpay for Thomas’ services either.

If it’s max money he’s looking for next year, it’s unlikely he’ll get it in Boston.

Credit to Getty Images for the photos