There’s increasingly loud buzz around the NBA that the Kings are making Isaiah Thomas available, reports Marc Stein of ESPN (via Twitter). This contradicts an earlier report that labeled Thomas as one of three Sacramento players that was considered untouchable, along with Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins.
Thomas is having the best year of his career and making just $884K, a bargain for the numbers he’s been able to put up. In 34 minutes per contest, the third year guard is averaging 20.2 points and 6.3 assists while shooting 44% from the floor and posting an impressive PER of 21. He’s slated to become a restricted free agent at years’ end, so the Kings, or any team that acquires him, would have to prepare for a large pay increase next season if they wish to retain him, as Stein points out (on Twitter).
Stein also tweets that rookie Ben McLemore will absolutely not be dealt before Thursday’s deadline. This is consistent with a pair of earlier tweets from Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee and Sean Cunningham of Sacramento Kings Radio. GM Pete D’Alessandro told reporters, including Cunningham, that McLemore will not be moved. Should the Kings decide to ship Thomas out to another team, Jones passes along (on Twitter) that the Kings are hesitant to trade any future picks or take on more salary, unless it’s for an impact player.