LAS VEGAS -- Boston Celtics All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas is content with the moves his team has made this summer, but he's certain that president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has more up his sleeve.
"We need more," Thomas said Saturday while watching the Celtics open play at the Las Vegas summer league. "I'm definitely comfortable with the moves he's made. I mean, everyone knew we were trying to get [Kevin] Durant. We came up short but we got another All-Star in Al Horford, and I know Danny's not done. Hopefully we get a few more pieces to the puzzle and that'll be a successful summer."
Thomas, not bashful about his recruitment efforts with both Horford and Durant even before free agency began, said he remains willing to reach out to potential targets.
"I'm trying to see who's out there, man. I'm trying, I'm trying to get some guys out there," Thomas said. "I know a few guys out there that want to play with Boston. If those guys need me to call anybody or reach out to anybody, I'm all ears and a helping hand.
"I don't know who would help, but anybody that can put the ball in the basket from 3 would definitely help us and our spacing. I know there is an old guy out there named Jason Terry -- he can still hit some shots. That's my old head. I know there's some shooters out there that can put the ball in the basket and hopefully we can get our hands on them."
Thomas touched on everything from soaring NBA contracts to Boston's recruiting trips with Horford and Durant to getting texts from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during a lengthy Q&A with Boston reporters. Some highlights:
The money team
Thomas is set to make only $6.6 million next season, barely north of the mid-level exception under a skyrocketing salary cap, and currently has only the fourth-highest salary on Boston's roster. Horford will earn nearly $20 million more next season after signing his four-year, $113 million contract on Friday.
"Everybody go get all you can get, I guess," Thomas said. "It's out there for everybody. Now we don't have to go and play baseball. We can go get those type of deals in basketball. I mean, it's unbelievable to see even certain guys get what they get but, at the end of the day, if it's out there, go get it."
Could the fact that role players might earn more money than some stars cause discord in NBA locker rooms?
"We're going to see," Thomas said. "Hopefully it doesn't mess up any locker rooms. Hopefully it doesn't mess up ours. But it can. Definitely, if you get paid that much, you feel like you should have a bigger role than whatever that role is, but hopefully for the betterment of the team and the guys we have around the locker room, I don't think it's going to happen."
Asked what to expect when his contract runs out after the 2017-18 season, Thomas smiled and playfully offered, "They better bring out the Brinks truck."
He added: "They’re paying everybody else; I’ve got to get something. But I’m trying not to worry about it. It’s out there. And I’m going to just continue to be myself and play. And hopefully that takes care of everything else."
Horford recruitment started in February
Thomas drew headlines at February's All-Star game when he mentioned that players from opposing teams had inquired about what it was like to play in Boston. On Saturday, he confirmed that one of those players was Horford.
"I didn’t know he was that interested, but I knew for him to come to me and ask me that, I knew it was in the back of his head at least," Thomas said. "When we got to meet with him face-to-face, I kind of felt like he knew this was the direction he wanted to go in. We do have a bright future. We have young guys and a great coaching staff and a great organization, so it only made sense to me."
Thomas said he was confident leaving the meeting with Horford last Friday night; the point guard knew Horford was coming to Boston.
"I wrapped that one up," Thomas said. "I just didn’t want to say anything. I knew he was coming to Boston."
He added: "I just knew, the way the meeting went. He was either picking us or a few other teams that just didn’t fit for him. It only made sense. We’re a young team, we need a guy like that, and then you can’t turn down as much money as he got. ... I'm excited for another All-Star-caliber player to be on our team."
Confident after Durant meeting
Thomas echoed what everyone within the Celtics organization has thought since Durant elected to sign with the Golden State Warriors: Boston thought it had an honest-to-goodness chance to sign KD after their meeting last Saturday.
"I walked out thinking we had a chance at him -- like a better chance than [before] sitting down with him," Thomas said. "I didn’t think he was gonna go to the Warriors. I definitely didn’t think that. But, leaving that meeting, I had a sense he was leaving OKC."
Thomas sent out a playful tweet in the aftermath of Durant's signing, saying it would be illegal to choose the Warriors when playing NBA 2K17.
"You definitely can’t use those guys in a video game," Thomas said. "I was upset, but at the same time, it was that man’s decision. We couldn’t do nothing about it but to try to get him to come to Boston, which we did. I think we did a hell of a job with what Danny brought up and the guys that were in that room. I think he really considered us; he had to, because the meeting went really well."
IT4 and TB12
Celtics players came back from the Durant pitch gushing about meeting Brady. Thomas said he plans to keep in touch with the New England Patriots quarterback moving forward.
"I got a chance to ask him questions and just pick his brain," Thomas said. "I’ve always been a fan of him, but getting to meet him made me more of a fan of him. I’m usually not star struck, but that was one of those cases where you didn’t know what to ask him. And for him to be so down to earth, it was amazing. We exchanged numbers. He reached out and texted me later that night -- he got my number from Danny. And I’m going to keep in touch with him because I want to go watch their practices and just see how the greats prepare themselves."