Mr. Irrelevant is a title usually attributed to the NFL and its last pick of the draft, but it’s also taken on a life of its own in the NBA where players chosen last have thrived. Isaiah Thomas wore the title as the Sacramento Kings drafted the pint-sized point guard in the 2011 NBA Draft. That pick of course came with snickers from around the league. Thomas isn’t your prototype point guard, and there’s that thing about his height. At 5-foot-9 Thomas isn’t your big combo guard that’s en vogue either, yet here he is — thriving. Suddenly Mr.Irrelevant is one of the more relevant point guards in the league.
That’s because the guard has been named in trade rumors that would send picks, Marcus Thornton, Jason Thompson and Ben McLemore — the Kings’ first-founder from the 2013 draft — to the Boston Celtics for Rajon Rondo. Multiple outlets report that the Kings would also take back the contract of Gerald Wallace to make the deal happen financially. It would be a huge risk for both teams, but let’s make a case for a point guard who’s excelling in his second year averaging 18.9 per game and 5.3 assists per game versus an All-Star who’s coming off major surgery. Thomas is the workhorse that makes this thing go. Head Coach Michael Malone told The Sacramento Bee:
“I want to have DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay on the floor at all times. Those are our main two-guys and Thomas is going to be leading the league in minutes played this year.”
Thomas will likely earn that title as the Kings’ only real option at point now that Greivis Vasquez is out. Those minutes played may be an audition for Boston or perhaps the Kings will wise up and stick with the big three they have.
That is of course if you believe the Kings have a big three with Cousins, Gay and Thomas running the show. Obviously the Kings would like to get a good look at Rondo before deciding on that, but you have to assume the front office may make a push for Rajon if he returns to form. Either way Thomas is in the driver’s seat where he is proving to himself and others he belongs. It’s a spot he’s gotten used to in a role he knows well.