Cleveland Cavaliers  v Sacramento Kings

Report: Isaiah Thomas meets with Suns on Thursday


The Phoenix Suns have Goran Dragic under contract and have promised to match any offer for Eric Bledsoe (which has yet to come, but one way or another the man will get paid). Behind them they have breakout star Gerald Green, Archie Goodwin and rookie Tyler Ennis. That’s already a deep backcourt.

Yet the Suns are having conversations that could make it even deeper.

They are meeting Thursday with Kings free agent point guard Isaiah Thomas, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Those talks will continue on Friday.

Thomas is a restricted free agent and the Kings can match any offer.

Thomas, like so many others (Pau Gasol, Lance Stephenson, Paul Pierce, Luol Deng and on and on) are waiting for the LeBron James/Carmelo Anthony free agency bottleneck to break and for teams to start making offers.

The Suns have the cap space (enough for a couple max deals really) so they can easily afford Thomas, although with the departure of Channing Frye a shooting forward would seem a higher priority. That backcourt in Phoenix is already pretty crowded.

That said, Thomas is a good get. A fan favorite in Sacramento he is small and lightning quick, he averaged 20 points a game with a very efficient .574 true shooting percentage because he can get to the rim and he knocks down shots. He’s a score first point guard, but that can fit in Phoenix. His big issue is defense, but he brings a real energy to the game.

The Kings front office is divided on him, but apparently the guys with the power are not that into him, went out and got a lesser guard (Darren Collison) and appear willing to let Thomas walk, unless the offer for him is so ridiculously low it would be stupid not to match.

Thomas will likely get a nice offer. The question is when and from whom, but the Suns seem an unlikely albeit interesting landing spot.

LeBron James posts photo with Tristan Thompson, sends message to Cavs

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
1 Comment

Tristan Thompson is a man without a contract. By not signing the qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers he put himself in limbo, the rare NBA holdout. Right now his options are to sign the deal on the table (the Cavs still have the five-year, $80 million offer out there), get the Sixers or Blazers to offer him a max contract (which neither team has shown any interest in doing), or hold out and hope the Cavaliers make a better offer. If he holds out for the entire season he becomes a restricted free agent again next summer — exactly like he is right now.

Without signing the qualifying offer and the threat of leaving, Thompson hurt his leverage.

But he has a little leverage. He and his agent Rich Paul had one other card, and it got played Saturday.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron James and Thompson share an agent in Paul. LeBron has largely remained silent through this process but if he wants something in the Cleveland organization, he usually gets it. And he wants Thompson back at practices.

LeBron’s leverage is going to be put to the test. The Cavaliers have let it leak they are not that concerned about LeBron leaving them next summer over this — and they’re right. The damage to LeBron’s brand if he broke the hearts of Cleveland fans again would be crushing, unless he leaves for a very good reason. Overpaying Thompson is not that reason.

However, LeBron’s comment could push the Cavaliers to try to find a compromise.

For the Cavaliers, a lot of how they view all this comes down to their tax bill. The Cavaliers already have $94.9 million in guaranteed salary on the books, putting them $10.2 million over the luxury tax line, at a cost of more than $16.25 million. What this means if (or when) they sign Thompson is his first $10 million in salary would cost them $28.75 million in tax and every dollar above that for the next $5 million costs them $3.75-to-$1. Look at it this way, by my count $14 million this year to Thompson would cost $43.75 million in tax — the total for Thompson at that price is $58 million. While that’s not all on Thompson it’s a lot of cash, and Thompson wants a max deal that starts at more than $16 million a year.

Owner Dan Gilbert is already going to pay the highest tax bill in the NBA this season, but if he balks at those figures it’s hard to blame him.


Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
1 Comment

Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.