Sacramento Kings starting point guard Isaiah Thomas has beaten the odds for his entire basketball career and now he’s set to get his first big payday.
The Kings recently extended a qualifying offer to Thomas making him a restricted free agent, and league sources tell PBT that as many as five teams have expressed interest in making an offer to steal away the point guard.
The Pistons, Heat, Lakers, Mavs and Suns have all expressed interest, with the Pistons showing the most interest to date and numbers starting in the three-year, $24 million range. Talks with teams in playoff contention have started in the $6-7 million per-year range.
Thomas averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 assists per game last season while hitting 45.3 percent of his shots. He ranked second for the Kings in win shares with 7.7, just behind DeMarcus Cousins at 7.9 and ahead of Rudy Gay at 4.5, with the rest of the team far behind the trio.
Last season, Thomas also became the 29th player in league history to have averaged 20 points and six assists in a year with a 20.0 Player Efficiency Rating (PER). The Kings were 3.9 points per possession better defensively with Thomas on the floor last season.
Since early in the season, Pau Gasol has been battling a respiratory infection, it has caused him to miss some games and slowed him when he’s been on the court. He can’t shake it.
Thursday he saw a new specialist to look at the issue.
The short term impact is the Lakers will be without Pau Gasol Friday night in Utah. Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com takes a more optimistic view but I wouldn’t bet on it.
You would think a few days off and the right medicine could help knock this out, but clearly it is more than that (Gasol’s mom is a doctor, it’s not like he gets bad medical care or doesn’t follow through on meds).
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No matter who plays for L.A. Friday night, Utah is the kind of team the Lakers need to beat if they have hopes of turning this season around and making the playoffs. And they still have those hopes, with Kobe Bryant returning in a month or so. But this roster needs to keep them afloat until then.
Nick Young and Mike D’Antoni have just moved onto somebody’s naughty list.
A reporter from ABC 7 in Los Angeles decided to ask a few Lakers to name all of Santa’s nine reindeer and only Jordan Farmar came anywhere close. We’ll cut Pau Gasol some slack as in Spain Santa does come but the Three Wise Men also bring gifts on Ephiphany. But the rest of you, for shame.
And by the way, it’s Donder not Donner.