Before he signed a one-year contract with the Denver Nuggets this offseason, Isaiah Thomas reached out to the Boston Celtics about a potential reunion.
Thomas told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski as much, saying he called Celtics general manager Danny Ainge to let him know that he'd "love to come back" to the place he called home for two-and-a-half seasons. Ainge was reportedly open to the idea, though Marcus Smart's extension was his priority at the time.
Before finalizing the agreement with Denver, Thomas had reached out to Boston GM Danny Ainge. They talked for 15 to 20 minutes, Thomas says, and he told Ainge: "If the opportunity is there, I would just like to let you know that I'd love to come back."
Ainge says his mind was open to the idea, but the Celtics needed to work through Marcus Smart's restricted-free-agency discussions before they could consider making an offer to Thomas. Ainge was willing to continue the conversation, but Thomas accepted the Nuggets' offer before Boston had reached its new deal with Smart.
Thomas became a two-time All-Star and an MVP candidate as a member of the Celtics. He was, however, included in the deal that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston after he helped the franchise make its first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since 2011-12.
While Thomas said the trade "hurt a lot," it didn't prevent him from wanting to return.
"I'd have gone back," Thomas said. "I don't hold grudges."