BOSTON (CBS) — Isaiah Thomas is vastly underpaid for the star he’s become, and has made no secret that he’s patiently awaiting a big payday in two years.
Thomas, who currently leads all Eastern Conference scorers at 27.8 points per game, is making $6.69 million this season, and his annual salary actually goes down to $6.26 million for 2017-18. It’s a deal he signed with the Phoenix Suns in 2014, before NBA contracts got really silly and Thomas developed into the all-around player he is today.
Boston’s go-to guy has made a few references to the Celtics needing to “bring out the Brinks truck” when his contract is up, most recently on Instagram following his 52-point night against the Miami Heat last week:
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge knows that Thomas is in line for a big raise in the near future, and he actually enjoys the point guard’s sense of humor about it.
“I think it’s funny,” Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday. “He has a very charismatic sense of humor; he’s a funny kid and he makes me laugh when I see stuff like that.”
Ainge said there have been no extension talks with Thomas, because those talks can’t happen until the summer. But he said they’ve made it clear to Thomas that the Celtics want him to be part of their future, though he didn’t say if they’d have to rent a few armored trucks to do so.
“Isaiah knows that we love him and he loves playing in Boston. Same with Avery Bradley. Both of those guys, Bradley has to defend the other team’s best guard night in and night out. Both of those guys know how much we appreciate them as players, what they’ve done and what they’re becoming,” said Ainge.
“There will be time when we sit down and talk with all of our guys. In the meantime, we’re trying to build a championship team,” he added. “It’s a good problem to have, to have good players who like where they are. I’m excited about the direction our guys are going and the improvement of Isaiah, Avery and Jae [Crowder]. I think we’re going to get better as this year goes on.”
Click here to check out Ainge’s full interview with Toucher & Rich.