Fantasy Basketball Stock Report: Isaiah Thomas
The Sacramento Kings made a big trade Sunday night, acquiring forward Rudy Gay as a part of a seven-player deal with the Toronto Raptors. But the most notable part of the move from a fantasy basketball perspective may be point guard Greivis Vasquez going from the Kings to the Raptors, which will open up a starting job in Sacramento for Isaiah Thomas. Vasquez has started all 18 games at point guard for the Kings this season, but Thomas has been the more productive player, averaging 17.8 points, 4.9 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game compared to 9.8 points, 5.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game thus far for Vasquez.
Thomas started 62 of his 79 games played last season, and he averaged 15.1 points, 4.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game in that role while making over 36 percent of his three-pointers in those games. It’s dangerous to blindly project good numbers for any player based purely on the potential for more playing time, but Thomas’s per-36 minute averages both this season (23.2 points, 6.4 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals) and for his career (18.3 points, 5.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals) point to some real upside potential.
Thomas is currently owned in 78 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and that is virtually certain to climb toward 100 percent in the coming days as long as the trade of Vasquez to Toronto is finalized after the players go through physicals. Clearly most fantasy owners were already at least holding Thomas with the hope he’d eventually see more playing time, and that time has now come with a clear path to a lot of minutes. I don’t necessarily see him becoming an elite fantasy point guard immediately, but Thomas has shown he can contribute solidly in four categories along with good shooting percentages and his fantasy arrow is pointing up.