BOSTON (CBS) — Some will argue that Isaiah Thomas is not a foundational player that the Boston Celtics can build around.

C’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has one question for those folks.

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“Have you been to any games?” Ainge said with a smile on Wednesday.

Thomas enjoyed a career-year for Boston last season, averaging a career-high 22.2 points per game. He was named to his first All-Star team, and appears to be a player who not only enjoys the spotlight of playing for an organization like the Celtics, but embraces it.

Now the Celtics are asking Thomas to play a new role for the team. The last pick in the 2011 draft will represent the team at the May 17 NBA Draft Lottery, where the Celtics hope the ping pong balls fall their way and the Brooklyn pick they acquired in the Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett swap in 2013 will turn into a top three pick in June’s NBA Draft.

In the past, the Celtics have sent such legends as Bill Russell, Jo Jo White and Tommy Heinsohn to represent them at the lottery. In 2013, it was owner Steve Pagliuca who held the honors. But no matter who represented the C’s, they never had the luck you’d expect for a team whose logo is a leprechaun.

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Ainge and the Celtics’ owners are hoping that luck will change when the 5-foot-9 Thomas represents them in New York.

“He’s our leprechaun,” Ainge joked.

Thomas was more than energetic to accept his new duty when the Celtics brass asked him last week.

“Isaiah, when he was told, it was like his eyes lit up. He loves that stuff,” said Ainge.

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