Thursday, July 31, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Thomas traded to Phoenix after Kings sign Collison

By
From page B1 | July 13, 2014 |

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns officially announced the acquisition of point guard Isaiah Thomas on Saturday in a sign-and-trade deal with the Sacramento Kings.

The deal had been reported by multiple outlets on Friday.

The Kings were not expected to match any offer sheet for Thomas after agreeing to a three-year, $15 million deal with free agent Darren Collison last week. Now, the Kings at least get something for Thomas.

Sacramento gets the rights to forward Alex Oriakhi, Phoenix’s second-round draft pick a year ago. The Kings also get a $7 million trade exemption.

The Suns envision Thomas as a complement to their double point guard starting lineup of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe.

The 5-foot-9 Thomas averaged career highs of 20.3 points and 6.3 assists for the Kings last season, his third in the NBA, and was a restricted free agent. He was one of six players to average at least 20 points and six assists in 2013-14.

Thomas was the 60th and final draft pick, out of Washington, in 2011 and became a fan favorite as he worked his way into more and more playing time in Sacramento. In three seasons with the Kings, he played in 216 games, 153 as a starter, averaging 15.3 points and 4.8 assists.

Thomas thanked the city of Sacramento, saying the city “will always have a place in my heart.”

In addition to Collison, the Kings are counting on some of their young guards to blossom in Thomas’ place.

Last year’s second-round pick, point guard Ray McCallum, showed signs of improving with more minutes in the final weeks of the season. And Sacramento has drafted a shooting guard with its last two first-round picks, Ben McLemore (seventh overall) out of Kansas last year and Michigan’s Nik Stauskas (eighth overall) this June.

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Pete D’Alessandro and coach Michael Malone have made as many moves as any team in the league since taking over the Kings last year, so Sacramento could shuffle its roster with more trades.

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