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Brad Stevens reacts to I.T. joining Pelicans originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Isaiah Thomas’ former head coach was thrilled to hear the news that the ex-Boston Celtics guard is back in the NBA.

Thomas reportedly agreed to a 10-day contract with the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. The 32-year-old last played for the Washington Wizards during the 2019-20 season with his most recent game coming more than a year ago on Feb. 3.

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Brad Stevens shared his reaction to the news prior to Friday night’s Celtics-Rockets matchup.

“I watched him play with Team USA and communicated with him a little bit around there,” Stevens said. “Really happy for him. I sent [Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy] a text right afterwards. I can’t say enough good things about Isaiah.

“I’m brought back to how much I appreciate the way that that team played, and he was obviously the leader of the group. He was so special here and so special to be around that you want the best for him, and this is a great opportunity.”

Thomas showed flashes of his All-Star self during the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers in Feb. If he can bring some scoring off the bench for New Orleans, that could go a long way in helping a team that’s currently 1.5 games behind 10th place in the Western Conference.