The Golden State Warriors have been a step ahead of the entire NBA in the way they conduct business for the better part of this decade. This week they introduced a brand new head-scratching and jealousy-producing form of team-building to the league: signing a free agent All-Star to a one-year deal on dirt cheap money.
Expect teams and players to follow this trend starting now.
Contenders like the Celtics and Sixers will surely be in the business of looking to add elite players on short deals and short money in the coming days. Obviously teams have always dreamt of being able to do this, but until DeMarcus Cousins actually made it official with Golden State Monday night it seemed like a pipe dream. Today is the beginning of a whole new NBA, however.
Isaiah Thomas, who is close with Cousins and shares his mindset, now becomes a player that the Celtics and Sixers will look at seriously signing - mostly because, "Why not?"
The Celtics and Sixers are two of a handful of teams that can play Golden State's game of accumulating as many All-Star level players as possible while circumventing the salary cap. The rest of the NBA, knowing they have virtually no chance at winning a title next season, won't be in a hurry to throw money at a player like Thomas because that only benefits him.
NBA free agency rumors Isaiah Thomas Celtics Sixers
Thomas is a player who wants to "be in the mix." The only way that happens now is if he returns to the Celtics, or becomes the scoring point guard that the Sixers desperately need.
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Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens have long been fans of "position-less basketball" and a lineup involving both Kyrie Irving and Thomas would certainly be something they would experiment with. NBA free agency rumors Isaiah Thomas Celtics Sixers heating up.
Thomas has said himself that "Anything is possible" in free agency. Never before in the NBA has that been more true.