Report: Celtics shopped Isaiah Thomas for lottery pick last summer

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

Sometimes the best moves are the ones not made.

Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is one of the best general managers in the NBA because he's willing to take risks and make cold, calculated decisions. After all, he's the one who sent away Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to a division rival.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Isaiah Thomas was on the trading block last season as Ainge scoured the market for a high draft pick, Jackie MacMullan said on "Bob Ryan's Boston Podcast."

"Before the draft last year ... Danny was trying to get two picks, not just Jaylen Brown. He was trying to get two picks," MacMullan said. "He was on the phone with everybody from coast to coast and he was offering everybody.

"That includes Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas and anything else they needed to get where he wanted to go. There was no untouchables on that team last year."

It's unclear who the Celtics were targeting, but nobody from the uninspiring 2016 draft class could have produced the way Thomas did this season. The 28-year-old cemented himself as a Beantown favorite by averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists while leading the Celtics to the first overall seed in the East. His efforts earned him an All-NBA second-team nod.

However, there will still be tough decisions ahead for Ainge on the subject of Thomas. The 5-foot-8 guard is set to hit unrestricted free agency next summer, at which point the GM must decide if giving a maximum contract to an excellent, though one-dimensional, player is indeed the Celtics' best bet to form a championship contender.