The Kings have extended a qualifying offer to Isaiah Thomas, meaning he’ll enter next month as a restricted free agent, the team announced. The offer is for one year at $2,875,131, as I explained this spring, but it will likely serve only as a placeholder for Thomas, who can command a long-term deal for significantly more money on the market.
The news is no surprise, as GM Pete D’Alessandro told reporters this spring that he planned on extending the QO. It’ll allow Sacramento to match offers for the 25-year-old. D’Alessandro has publicly praised Thomas, but the team would like to bring aboard a pass-first point guard this summer, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee notes via Twitter.
An Eastern Conference executive in March pegged the market value of the ASM Sports client at $4-5MM per year. That would fit within the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception, though the Kings, in addition to having the right of first refusal, have full Bird rights on Thomas.