BOSTON (CBS) — Isaiah Thomas is flirting with Celtics history this season, and the All Star guard is hoping that will get him a truckload of money when he becomes a free agent after next season.
With 33 points against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, Thomas has now scored 20 or more points in 40 straight games, tying John Havlicek’s franchise record. He’s scored 20 or more in all but one game this season.
But is Thomas a max player when he hits free agency? Chris Mannix of Yahoo! Sports doesn’t think so.
“I don’t think he’s a max player because, let’s assume he hits free agency in the Summer of 2018 without any renegotiation this summer, max money is about $33 million. I can’t fathom Boston giving him that,” Mannix told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday. “I think Isaiah is more likely, at this point, to negotiate an extension this summer that pays him, not considerably under the max, but gets him in the $20-25 million range and gives the Celtics a little more flexibility with cap space.”
Thomas is one of the best bargains in the NBA and is scheduled to make $6.2 million next season. If he wants to get paid immediately, working out an extension this offseason may be the best route.
“If he renegotiates he can get paid right away,” said Mannix. “Unless the Celtics are hellbent on maintaining cap flexibility going into the summer of 2018, I can see them renegotiating a deal with Isaiah that gets him paid but not in max territory.”
If Thomas does hit the free agent market next summer, when salaries are expected to explode even more than they already have, Mannix doesn’t think other teams will be lining up to pay him that $33 million annually.
Mannix also touched on trade rumors surrounding the C’s, including Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Detroit’s Andre Drummond (don’t count on that one), and touched on the rumored Mayweather-McGregor boxing match: