Isaiah Thomas speaks at the Roxbury YMCA on Thursday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)
ROXBURY – Whether it’s Kevin Durant, Al Horford or Dwight Howard, Isaiah Thomas is just hoping Danny Ainge can work his magic to improve his team’s chances of getting past the first round and contend for a title.
“I just hope we get a few more pieces. I think that’s what we need,” Thomas said Thursday while speaking to kids on a Celtics CommUNITY stop at the Roxbury YMCA.
“I think that would be the next steps for us, and then we go from there. I’ve got a lot of trust in Danny and those guys in the front office because that’s their job, that’s what they do. And they know what they’re getting themselves into. So I’m just trying to do my part with telling people how special Boston is. And then hopefully they listen.”
Despite a report from Marc Spears that a source indicates Durant has nearly made up his mind to return to Oklahoma City, the Celtics will meet with Durant’s representatives on Saturday.
“I don’t know if you can say anything to convince him. He’s his own man,” said Thomas. “I don’t know if he even has his own decision already and he just wants to hear people out. But we just have to be as real as possible. He’s a fan of the game. He knows the game of basketball. He’s talked to me about how exciting it is to watch us on NBA LeaguePass and things like that. So he knows. And we’re just going to do what we can to try to seal the deal. And hopefully we can get in his ear. And maybe he’s a Celtic. Maybe he’s not. But we’re going to try. And I’m going to try.”
Thomas left the YMCA to head back to Waltham to meet with Danny Ainge and the Celtics to see if he could be of any further assistance in a last-ditch effort.
“It’s a crazy feeling just because years ago that didn’t even come close,” Thomas said. “I was worried about making the team the next year. So it’s a good feeling knowing that they I guess trust my word or anything, and they come to me for things that they need or they want me to do. Knowing that you have trust in the organization, that’s a great feeling.”
Does Thomas have a gauge on what Durant might be looking for?
“No. I read comments he said he just wants to have fun playing basketball,” Thomas said. “I think it’s fun playing over here. For the most part when I do communicate with him I try not to talk about it. He actually brought it up to me one time just saying how much he loves the city and it seems like a really nice sports town.”
Then there’s Al Horford.
“I just reached out to him. I got his number and reached out to him saying, ‘I’m interested in playing with you. I just want to put that in your ear. I know the Celtics would love if you came and are a part of the organization. Good luck with the process.’ And things like that,” Thomas said. “And then he texted me back, he said, ‘I’m a fan of how you guys play. I’m a fan of your game and would love the opportunity, but we’ll see what happens.’ The time is crazy for those type of guys right now so you never know what would happen but guys know about Boston. Guys are definitely talking Boston. And that’s a good thing.”
There is one player already on the roster that has impressed Thomas. Jaylen Brown played one year at Cal, a Pac-12 rival of Thomas’ alma mater Washington, before being drafted third overall by the Celtics.
“A really good player. I think he’s slept on a lot by a lot of people,” Thomas said. “I watched California play due to them being in the Pac-12, and I’ve seen his highlights. He’s very athletic. He can play multiple positions. And hopefully he’s just ready to work. Get to work and put your hard hat on, and go from there. I’m excited to be able to get to meet him and get to know him.”