But nothing goes perfectly in the NBA — not for the superteams, and not for those clamoring to join them in the championship hunt.
True title contenders need a little bit of wiggle room. That’s why the Cavaliers have a thousand redundant wings, and in part why the Warriors added Kevin Durant to their stacked roster, just in case they faced serious injury.
Thomas offers no such flexibility. You can win a lot of games with him leading the way, but a championship comes only with exacting precision.
Building a contender around Thomas is difficult enough at his current $6.6 million price point, and he’s just about due for a massive pay raise.
He’ll want a full five-year, max contract from the Celtics. Anyone envisioning some sort of discount is deluding themselves. Thomas might love his team, but he was the 60th overall pick and barely scratched the surface of the NBA’s massive coffers on his most recent deal.