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Isaiah Thomas Talks His Future, and the Celtics and Cavs Talk Compensation

It looks like the Kyrie Irving trade, which has held the NBA captive for more than a week, could be resolved soon

Isaiah Thomas Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Isaiah Thomas’s future is beginning to clear up. Within seven days, the point guard first learned that he had been packaged with Jae Crowder, the 2018 Brooklyn Nets pick, and Ante Zizic in a trade to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving, and then he was promptly pronounced damaged goods after his Cavaliers physical on Saturday. The same torn right labrum that ended Thomas’s season during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against — who else — the Cavaliers seemed to be keeping him out of their locker room. But on Tuesday, in an interview with ESPN, Thomas suggested that it was all an overreaction.

“I am not damaged,” Thomas said. “I’ll be back, and I’ll be the same player. … There’s never been an indication that I wouldn’t be back, and there’s never been an indication that this is something messing up my career.”

The Cavaliers — who were “weighing their options” after the exam results — are reportedly cooling down as well, taking back their previous rumored requests to add Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, or a top draft pick as extra trade compensation. Both teams started talking again on Tuesday. Cleveland is now reportedly warming to the notion of accepting an additional late first-rounder or second-round pick.

The organizations have until Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET for the players involved to submit physicals, then Thursday at 10 a.m. ET to rule whether the players have passed. I.T. remained firm that his recovery was on track, telling ESPN that “I’m going to be the same player again. No doctor has told me anything different than that. … I know that this [hip injury] won’t be a problem into the future.”

Thomas is in contact with his new team, but hasn’t heard word on what’s keeping the franchise from finalizing. “It’s out of my control,” he said — kind of the theme of Thomas’s past week.