BOSTON -- Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas has been not-so-subtly recruiting Kevin Durant since the Oklahoma City Thunder’s season ended. Now he wants to be part of Boston's sales pitch to Durant on Saturday in the Hamptons.
Thomas, back in Boston for some community appearances this week, said Thursday afternoon that he was set to meet with Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge in hopes of joining Boston's recruitment team.
After Tweeting Durant's No. 35 and a shamrock after the Thunder were eliminated from the playoffs and making reference to Durant's shoes in a tweet last weekend, Thomas said he's ready to put the full-court press on Durant.
"First off, I’m going to go buy some KD [apparel]," Thomas said after distributing free ice cream for Good Humor at Boston's Faneuil Hall. "If I do go to the meeting, I’m going to buy a KD shirt; I’m going to be in the whole outfit. So that’s the first thing I’m going to do, so, right when he sees me, if I’m invited, I’m going to be in his whole little thing."
Thomas said he'd also hammer home the positive position Boston finds itself in entering an important summer.
"Like I said before, I’m just going to be as real as possible. As a basketball player and a basketball fan, [Durant] knows what Boston brings," Thomas said. "I’m just going to piggyback it and continue to tell him what’s so exciting about here and what the future holds for the team that we have right now. We won 48 games and we don’t have no star on the team. That says a lot right there of what we can do with a franchise-changer like Kevin Durant."
The Celtics have as much as $55 million in cap space available and can sign as many as two max-contract free agents. A young Boston squad wants to add star power to a team eager to build on first-round playoff exits in each of the past two seasons.
While interacting with fans on Thursday, Thomas was bombarded with free-agent advice from fans who repeatedly cheered, "Get KD!" As he departed the event, one fan screamed, "Bring Durant to Boston!" then added, "And Boogie [DeMarcus Cousins], too!"
The passion of the fans resonated with Thomas.
"It’s the definition of what Boston is. They want greatness, they want the top players, and they are going to do whatever they can to get them," Thomas said. "I’m excited, man. To be able to be at this event, and all the people come out and yell the things that they want, that’s what Boston is."
Thomas said he has been bombarded with text messages from friends and family telling him to bring Durant to Boston. He's also reached out to several free agents, including Durant, trying to keep the Celtics on potential signees' radar.
How confident is Thomas that Ainge will land a big-name free agent?
"I’m very confident," Thomas said. "I’m not going to say it’s going to be Kevin Durant. Who knows? But I’m confident he’s going to get a couple guys and build on what we have going here."
Asked earlier in the day if he had reached out to free agent Al Horford, Thomas told the Boston Herald: "I actually texted him the other day. He said he’s open to the opportunity, he’s a fan of my game, he likes the way we play. In that situation, it’s hard to talk to these type of guys about that because you don’t know how many people are hitting them up. You have to be sensitive bringing those things up, but, with Al, I have reached out to him and told him I’m interested in playing with him and I know the organization likes him."