There are a lot of mixed feelings after the announcement of the Suns reportedly agreeing on a sign and trade with the Sacramento Kings to bring in point guard Isaiah Thomas and sign him for four years and & 28 million.
While the quick reaction is why would the Suns need another point guard? I think it makes sense.
The Suns need a back-up point guard. No disrespect to Ish Smith, but when Goran Dragic or Eric Bledsoe were injured and did not play in a game, the production for the most part drastically declined on the court. Sure Ish had some very nice games and I loved his effort on the floor every night, but the scoring as a team declined when both Bledsoe and Dragic were not able to be on the floor. There will be no decline when Thomas is on the floor coming off a season where he averaged 20 points and six assists per game.
The next question is why another point guard when you just drafted Tyler Ennis in the first round? Simple, Ennis is 19 years old. This is a team that is coming off a 48 win season, the last team out of the playoffs and want to make it back into the post season next year. While I personally like Ennis for the team in the future, putting the pressure on him this young to play a major role with this team eyeing the post season might be too much for him at this point. I’d rather know that Thomas is in that role. Ennis now has a great opportunity to learn and grow under some very good, young and talented point guards.
Furthermore, seven million dollars for four years is a steal when you look at the production that Thomas could be capable of for this team. The Suns have him locked down at that price that is far cheaper than the going rate for point guards who are starting quality.
Don’t be disappointed when Thomas doesn’t average 20 and six next season because he will be in a much different role. He will not putting up major points during garbage time playing for a bad team as was the case last year with the Kings. But he has proven that he can be a very good offensive player in this league. One of the Suns’ biggest needs this offseason was another consistent scoring option outside of Dragic and Bledsoe. You couldn’t rely on Green, Morris (x2), Plumlee, Frye and Tucker to be consistent every night last year and that will probably remain the case next season minus Frye. So even though Thomas is not a scoring shoot guard, which everyone thought the Suns would first draft and now pursue in free agency, they still land a proven scoring option.
This deal helps and does not hurt. It is yet another option of Ryan McDonough and Jeff Hornacek’s “position-less” roster and I think it is a good sign after the Suns made their most important sign off the off-season thus far, bringing back the versatility and leadership of P.J. Tucker. The amount of assets this Suns team has now is incredible when you think back to where they were just a year ago at this time.
What lies ahead though with Eric Bledsoe, that is another question/concern.