BOSTON (CBS) — Isaiah Thomas is one of the few players who can get through to DeMarcus Cousins, the talented but temperamental star out in Sacramento.

The littlest guy on the court would talk a big game to the center during their time with the Kings, and despite the losing culture associated with the team, Thomas usually backed it up. So even when Cousins was throwing a temper tantrum, and it was dangerous to be around the volatile star, Thomas wasn’t afraid. More times than not he could get Cousins to calm down a bit — no easy task for fellow big men, let alone a 5-foot-9 guard.

Thomas, who has become a strong leader the Boston locker room, is envisioning big things for his team this season. He’s happy with the team they have in place, one that won 48 games last season and added Al Horford over the summer, but if Danny Ainge can work out a long-rumored trade that would get Cousins out of Sacramento and into Celtics green, Boston would become an even more intriguing and realistic threat to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.

“If he came to Boston, that would be good, really good,” Thomas told Sporting News last week following a Celtics preseason game in Brooklyn. “The thing is, I’ve got his respect. I’ve always had that.

“When I was with him, I didn’t back down,” Thomas continued. “I’m a point guard and that was my job. No matter if we did or didn’t get along off the court, on that court we were going to get along, and I was going to hold him accountable. That’s just how it is. It’s how I’ve always been. And he respects me for doing that.”

Cousins is onto his sixth head coach in Sacramento, a situation that could turn this season into a ticking time bomb for the Kings. If it goes nuclear and Vlade Divac decides it’s time to move on from Cousins, the Celtics are in a great position to take advantage and make a deal happen.

And if Ainge is worried about Cousins bringing his old habits to Boston with him, he can count on Isaiah Thomas to help keep him in check.

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