Isaiah Thomas: "Brinks Truck," or bad luck?

Isaiah Thomas was one of the best players in the NBA last season, finishing fifth in the voting for Most Valuable Player. After averaging numbers like 28.9 ppg, and 5.9 apg on 47% shooting, you would expect this all-NBA talent to be amongst the most valued players in the league. And while he is valued in the hearts of Boston Celtics fans, the players, and the rest of the organization, Isaiah’s paychecks don’t look nearly as nice as they should. IT’s contract is one of the biggest steals in the league. He is expected to make only 6.5 million dollars next season. Just as a reference point, he is making about 10 million dollars less than Timofey Mozgov next season. He is making 28 million dollars less than Stephen Curry.

Luckily for Isaiah, he becomes a free agent after this next season, and he expects to get paid. He has been quoted saying that the Celtics “better bring out the Brinks truck!” when trying to re-sign him because all the other superstars in the league are getting paid so well. He definitely deserves a max contract after last season. His impact on the Celtics is so easily visible that one would be crazy in thinking he wasn’t worth the max to the Cs. That being said, he might not be valued so highly by other teams in the league.

As discussed, many teams in the NBA were blindsided a little bit when told that the salary cap for the NBA would only amount to about $99 million in 2017. After a significant salary cap rise in the 2015-2016 season, teams expected the rise to continue. Most teams prepared to have about $109 million to play with during and after the 2016-2017 season. Because of this discrepancy, teams were forced to play a little more cautiously with their money than the summer before. As a result, certain players are getting less this season than they would’ve if they were free agents last year.

Now that teams are becoming stingier with how they throw around their cap space, there is a good chance a player like Isaiah Thomas will feel a lack of love during free agency. Thomas is a bit older at 28 years old, and his shortcomings on the defensive end are a red flag to any team trying to give him a Max contract. Because of this, I think it will be easier for the Boston Celtics to sign him back, and it will be cheaper. Many teams in the NBA, especially contenders, will either hesitate or refuse to give Isaiah a max contract this offseason. His offers from teams will probably be less valuable than he would like, causing him to prefer staying at home with the championship-contending Boston Celtics.

The Celtics value Thomas more than any other team in the NBA will. He is a hometown hero, the heartbeat of the offense, and the somewhat savior of this Boston team. I think that the Celtics will offer him the most amount of money, but it might not be the max. IT might have to settle for less than the maximum considering the discrepancy in how much teams thought they would have vs. what they are able to work with. While I’m sure the Celtics are going to give him a pretty big contract, I don’t know if Isaiah should expect a brinks truck or more of a pickup truck with really nice rims.