Fortune Teller? Thomas "Knew Horford Was Coming"
LAS VEGAS – Danny Ainge and Celtics fans across the world were all sweating as time ticked down to Al Horford’s free agency decision.
Isaiah Thomas? He was as cool as the other side of the pillow.
“I wrapped that one up, I just didn’t want to say anything,” Thomas said with a grin as he spoke to the media Saturday evening in Las Vegas, where the Celtics were taking on Chicago. “I knew he was coming to Boston for sure.”
Thomas says he knew Horford was coming on board because Boston unquestionably presented the best for the big man.
“He was either picking us or a few other teams where it just didn’t fit for him. It only made sense to come,” Thomas said. “We’re a young team and we need a guy like that. And you can’t turn down as much money as he got.”
Boston’s All-Star point guard had an inkling he’d be playing with Horfrod in 2016-17 for quite some time. Thomas mentioned back at the All-Star break that one of his fellow All-Stars had approached him and asked about what it was like to play for the Celtics. That’s when the process of Horford joining the green and white really began.
“I didn’t know he was that interested (that he would eventually sign with Boston), but for him to come to me and ask me that, I knew it was in the back of his head at least,” Thomas revealed. “So when we got to meet with him face to face, I felt like he kind of knew that this was the direction that he wanted to go in.”
Outside of Kevin Durant signing with the Golden State Warriors, nearly every NBA pundit has called Boston’s signing of Horford the best move of the offseason. Thomas didn’t make such a statement, but his words certainly indicate that he believes such is true.
“He can do multiple things,” Thomas said. “He’s not just a pick-and-pop guy. He can pick-and-roll, finish at the basket, and also stretch his shooting ability out to 3-point range. So it’s just another guy that adds to the versatility of this team.”
Pressed further as to how Horford will affect the Celtics next season and beyond, Thomas continued to speak on the big man’s ability to do so many things on the court.
“When we were in that meeting, coach (Brad Stevens) said like, ‘The type of player you are is what we want,’” Thomas recalled. “We’ve got guys like Amir Johnson who can switch onto guards, chase guys off the 3-point line, and are so versatile on both ends of the court. So he only fits in to what we want to do.”
Horford’s signing likely vaults the Celtics into contention for the Eastern Conference title next season. However, Boston may still have a few tricks up its sleeve.
Thomas continues to stay cool as the free agency pool dries up, exuding confidence that the Celtics will continue to improve.
He stated with great confidence, “I know Danny’s not done.”