BOSTON (CBS) — The guys on Felger & Mazz built up a potential problem with regard to the future of Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics roster. Wyc Grousbeck worked to quickly shut it down.
The Celtics’ managing partner, governor and CEO joined Felger & Massarotti on Thursday afternoon and was asked if the team needs to figure out the future of Thomas (signed through the 2017-18 season) before mapping out all of its other roster plans.
“I think you guys are — with respect, I’ve worked with you a long time and enjoy it — I think you’re creating something that isn’t there,” Grousbeck said. “There isn’t a boiling problem with Isaiah. In fact, he’s basically the happiest guy that I’ve ever met right now. So there’s no issue with Isaiah, no problem that I can detect. I think he’s focused on this season and having things go great.
“He’s very happy to be a Celtic,” Grousbeck added. “I just don’t see a problem and there’s not a looming problem.”
As for Thomas’ value, Grousbeck spoke very highly of the Celtics’ leading scorer.
“I would start with top 10,” Grousbeck said. I don’t know — when you get up to top five in the NBA, that’s pretty rare up there. There are some unbelievable players. But there are some moments where he is the best player in the NBA for those moments. … I gotta tell you, there’s not many other guys I’d rather have going into a close fourth quarter. He’s clearly an All-Star, and deservedly so, maybe he should be a starter. People are chanting ‘MVP’ [but] I don’t think even he feels he’s the MVP right at this moment.
“He’s in the conversation for top five or top 10 and we’re really glad we have him.”
As for the team’s plans for the trade deadline, Grousbeck said Danny Ainge and crew have had many conversations over the past weeks. But the real deals don’t really come together until about noon on the day of the deadline.
“I definitely don’t feel that we’re going to get people’s best offers until they feel like we’ve given them our best and final as well. There were no deals that were going to get done last week or the week before. It just wasn’t going that way. Everyone is still talking,” Grousbeck said, noting that there will be many conversations in New Orleans over All-Star weekend.
The Celtics’ possession of the Nets’ first-round pick figures to play a crucial role in any trade talks. Grousbeck offered some interesting insight, noting that “If you trade the pick before the lottery, you don’t know what you’re trading, and the other team doesn’t know what [they’re] getting, so you might not get full value.”
Plus, if the Nets continue to own the worst record in the league through the end of the season, that pick could end up being No. 1 overall.
“That’s a pick the Celtics have basically never had in their history. They’ve never had a No. 1 ever,” Grousbeck said.
Heading into Thursday night, the Celtics ranked second in the East, 2.5 games behind the Cavaliers and 3 games ahead of the Wizards. Grousbeck remains optimistic but not unreasonable with his expectations.
“I just like the way they play. I like the way they get after it. I like the way the fans respond. I like being there at the games, soaking it in,” Grousbeck said. “I’d like to be a top-two team. I’d like to be in the Finals. I don’t feel like we’re there yet.”
Grousbeck was also asked if a team can win without a true No. 1 MVP type of player, why the Celtics have gone 1-7 against the league’s top teams, if there are any untouchables on the roster, and what he likes most about this year’s team. Listen below: