Celtics Pregame Live

Isaiah Thomas plans to play in NBA โ€˜a couple more years'

Isaiah Thomas isn't ready to give up on making more NBA history.

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Isaiah Thomas will forever be a Boston Celtics fan favorite after his memorable three seasons with the team. After being the last player picked in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings, Thomas made his way to Boston via trade late in the 2014-15 season -- and the rest was history.

Fresh off a six-game return to the NBA with the Phoenix Suns following a two-year hiatus from the league, Thomas joined our NBC Sports Boston crew on Celtics Pregame Live prior to Monday's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers to discuss his future plans.

"Look, I'm trying -- well, not trying -- I'm going to be in the league for a couple more years," Thomas said. "I want to get a couple more years, a couple more years out until my boys get to high school [where] I can put my full focus on those guys and their development."

In Thomas' three years with the Celtics, the 5-foot-9 guard averaged 24.7 points, 6.0 assists, 2.7 rebounds, and a steal per game, earning All-Star nods in both of his full seasons in Boston. He even finished fifth in the MVP race after the 2016-17 season.

While numbers proved his value on the court, fans fell in love with Thomas for his heart. Never mind that he was often the team's leading scorer -- fans loved Thomas for his effort, determination, grit, and never-quit attitude. This was on full display in Boston's first playoff game of the 2017 season, where Thomas suited up a day after his younger sister's passing, scoring a game-high 33 points.

"I'm trying to get to at least 14 years (in the NBA)," Thomas added. "I know Muggsy Bogues -- my goal was always to try to beat out Muggsy Bogues in being the smallest guy to have the longest career in the NBA. That's still the ultimate goal, and I'm going to reach that. I'm going to keep staying on the slow grind, the marathon continues."

After being traded from Boston to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a move that made Kyrie Irving a Celtic, Thomas played for six different teams between the 2018 and 2022 seasons. He'd see his stats fall to an average of 11.7 points, 3.3 assists, and 1.7 rebounds per game across those years, leading to his fall out of the league in 2022.

Instead of calling it quits, Thomas signed to the Salt Lake City Stars -- the Utah Jazz' G-League affiliate -- earlier this season. He quickly proved he could still play, averaging 32.5 points on a 40.7 percent from the field and an even better 44.6 percent from deep, 5.3 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game.

After proving he still has some gas left in the tank, Celtics fans were finally able to rejoice when news broke that Thomas was returning to the NBA after being signed to a 10-day contract with the Suns. After signing an additional 10-day contract, Phoenix eventually signed I.T. through the end of the season. Playing in around three minutes in each of his six games, Thomas logged a total of eight points and three assists.

"Somebody has to give me an opportunity where I can take full advantage of it," Thomas said of what's next.

Now 35, Thomas will look to play for three more seasons to achieve his goal of playing in the league for 14 years.

Check out Thomas' full interview on Celtics Postgame Live in the video below.

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