For isaiah thomas, landing a max deal with the Boston Celtics is imminent. He is expected to be dangled one next summer though that will not stop other teams from trying to tempt him out of Beantown. Even with less money, a potential pitch would be joining a team that has solid chances of winning an NBA title.

Seen as one of the few remaining players that have yet to strike it big, the Celtics would be foolish to let the 28-year-old walk. He has drawn the admiration of his teammates and the attention of other teams that are in search of a reliable player.

At any rate, the Celtics should have a lock on him, though anything can happen.

Can the Celtics offer a max contract to I.T.?

The Boston Celtics have managed to come up with a team without overspending. However, all that normally comes to an end. Unless players are willing to take pay cuts, team president Danny Ainge may have to face the reality of managing the team salary budget.

Next year, the Celtics are in line to pay the luxury tax if Thomas is given a max deal worth $177 million over five years or $132 million for four years. If this is the scenario moving forward, the Celtics may be forced to unload some of the current guys on the roster.

That would include the backup guards for Thomas.

Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier come to mind, both of whom could blossom this coming NBA season. There is the possibility that the Celtics could let Thomas go in lieu of the two. That may be a remote fact unless the Celtics feel that Thomas is not a player deserving of a max deal.

Why would Celtics pass on Thomas?

Ridiculous as it may sound, there are things to consider when it comes to Thomas.

One is that he is a bit undersized at 5-foot-9. So far, the final pick of the 2011 NBA Draft has shown he can play with the big boys.

He proved that last season with the Celtics and played through adversity. That was in the NBA playoffs, where he managed to keep his head despite losing a loved one. This alone speaks well of his character and desire to play pro ball.

Will that passion inside continue moving forward?

The coming season will be critical for the Celtics and Thomas. The bar has been raised mainly due to their performance last season plus the refinements to their roster. Rather than his skills, Thomas’ leadership will be key for the Celtics to achieve their goals.

Right now, the immediate goal is making the NBA Finals. They almost got there last season, but fell short. No one expected them to get that far in the 2016-17 NBA season. The case is considerably different this time around.