Isaiah Thomas insists he didn’t verbally push the Suns to deal him to the Celtics last week, as Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald relays. Suns GM Ryan McDonough said Thomas’ desire to start was the catalyst for last week’s swap, notes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
“They said that? I did want to start, who doesn’t?” Thomas said. “I don’t get that. I was a team player, didn’t complain about anything. The guys who complain, you see it in the media. I didn’t say anything. For the most part, it was good. When we did play together it was positive and it worked, but it’s tough to do when you have three talented point guards who need the ball to be effective. It’s three point guards that want the ball.”
Thomas qualified that remark, saying that he would have liked to have played more, according to Coro. He called the Phoenix backcourt “a tough situation” that’s “not what I expected” in November, but later made comments indicating he was pleased with the setup. Here’s more from around the Pacific Division:
- Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob reiterated that he’s willing to pay the luxury tax next season, telling Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard that the team has no choice but to do so barring “some massive deal.” “[GM] Bob [Myers] keeps saying I must have the only owner in the NBA who says, ‘Stop worrying about the luxury tax,’” Lacob said. “Even today I said, ‘I don’t care about the luxury tax.’ I don’t want to make decisions based on the luxury tax. We want to get better. Our job is to get better. Secondarily, we’ll worry about the money.”
- Lacob wouldn’t address soon-to-be restricted free agent Draymond Green directly but said to Ballard, “It would take a lot to not sign our core players. Does that answer your question?”
- George Karl said he spoke with Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro about the idea of adding a point guard but added that he’d prefer not to make any more changes, observes Matt Kawahara of The Sacramento Bee. Darren Collison has missed the last six games with a right hip flexor strain and doesn’t appear on his way back anytime soon, so Karl has turned to Andre Miller and is giving him a much greater role than he had with the Wizards, as Kawahara examines.
- Karl’s reps impressed upon the Kings during negotiations earlier this month that the coach would likely have other opportunities in the offseason, putting pressure on Sacramento to hire him as soon as possible, according to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.