After signing a four-year, $27 million offer sheet with the Phoenix Suns, the Kings and Suns have agreed to a sign-and-trade for restricted free agent point guard, Isaiah Thomas. The Kings are expected to acquire 2013 second-round pick Alex Oriakhi, and will also wind up with a $7.2MM trade exception, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
Here are the specifics:
Suns and Kings are finalizing a sign-and-trade deal on a four-year, $27M contract for Isaiah Thomas, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 11, 2014
The #Suns send rights on 2013 second-round pick Alex Oriakhi and a trade exception to the Kings to get Isaiah Thomas on a 4-year, $27M deal.
— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) July 11, 2014
Zeke, the last selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, continued to beat out whichever point guard the Kings trotted out during his first three seasons in the league, cementing his place as one of the more underrated guards in the Association.
Standing at just 5-9, the whip-fast 25-year-old point out of the University of Washington averaged a career high 20.3 points, and 6.2 assists in 34.2 minutes per game during the 2013-14 season. He also sported an impressive 20.5 player efficiency rating with shooting splits of .453/.349/.850.
Thomas told Basketball Insiders, Alex Kennedy, about the sign-and-trade, “I feel wanted, that’s all I wanted.”
Isaiah Thomas confirms that he's heading to the Phoenix Suns once sign-and-trade is complete. Thomas: "I feel wanted. That's all I wanted."
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 11, 2014
Phoenix now has Goran Dragic, rookie Tyler Ennis, restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe and Thomas in the backcourt.
Bledsoe, who the Suns extended a qualifying offer to before the July moratorium, is likely to be looked at by the Milwaukee Bucks, reports Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Bledsoe is represented by LeBron James‘ agent, Rich Paul, and while Paul continues to negotiate a contract with Phoenix, most of the teams looking to acquire the athletic point were waiting for James and Carmelo Anthony to decide on their destinations before making an offer, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
Suns & RFA Eric Bledsoe's agent Rich Paul in early stages of contract talks, a source said.Other suitors in limbo until LeBron & Melo decide
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 6, 2014
We can’t help but wonder if Isaiah Thomas, one of our favorite Reebok athletes, will ever get a chance to control a team without having to prove his mettle as an undersized point guard.
Depending on what happens with Bledsoe, Thomas should work well in a two-headed backcourt similar to the Bledsoe and “Dragon” Dragic tandem coach Jeff Hornacek favored during the Suns’ surprising run to 48 games in the loaded Western Conference last year. Hopefully, he’s not stuck buried in what looks now like an overloaded Suns guard spot, but we doubt Phoenix matches any grandaddy offer Bledsoe is expected to receive as free agency continues in the wake of LeBron’s big decision yesterday.
Does Zeke work for Phoenix?
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