BOSTON (AP) — Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge dipped into his hoard of first-round draft picks and came away with a new point guard.
The Celtics acquired Isaiah Thomas from the Phoenix Suns at the NBA’s trading deadline Thursday for guard Marcus Thornton and a 2016 first-round pick.
“Isaiah is a dynamic offensive player whose scoring and playmaking abilities add to an already well-rounded backcourt with Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley,” Ainge said in a statement Thursday night, about six hours after the deadline.
In another deal, the Celtics sent Tayshaun Prince to the Detroit Pistons for Jonas Jerebko and Luigi Datome. Prince was a first-round draft choice by the Pistons in 2002 and played his first 10-plus seasons there.
“Tayshaun Prince is certainly well known to fans in Detroit and we’re pleased to welcome him back,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “He fills a position of need for us at small forward with his offensive and defensive versatility.”
Also Thursday, the Celtics said forward Jared Sullinger has a left forefoot stress injury. He returned to Boston for evaluation, and no timetable for his recovery was announced.
Sullinger had averaged 14.4 points and 8.1 rebounds this season, his third in Boston.
The 5-foot-9 Thomas is averaging 15.2 points and 3.7 assists in the first season of a four-year, $27 million contract. He spent his first three seasons with the Sacramento Kings, averaging more than 20 points and six assists per game last season.
The Celtics will send Phoenix the 2016 first-round pick they had acquired from Cleveland along with Thornton, who heads to his fifth team in six NBA seasons. In 2011-12, he averaged 18.7 points.
Boston still could have as many as five first-round picks in the next two drafts — and 13 picks in all — the fruits of a dismantling that began with the trades of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and coach Doc Rivers in the summer of 2013.
Jerebko, a 6-foot-10 forward from Sweden, is averaging 5.2 points and 3.1 rebounds.
Datome is a 6-foot-8 who has played in three games for the Pistons this season. He played professionally in Italy from 2003-13 and was the Italian League MVP in 2012-13.
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