The Kings made the Rudy Gay trade to, well, get Rudy Gay.
But that wasn’t the only benefit of the the deal.
The trade, which shipped out starting point guard Greivis Vasquez, gave Isaiah Thomas a bigger role, and that’s a positive development for Sacramento. Thomas is averaging 18.8 points, 5.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game this season.
Five-foot-9 and a former last pick in the draft, Thomas is defying expectations with his strong production. Next, he wants to defy them even further.
SLAM: Sixtieth pick in the Draft to starting point guard. What do you want your legacy as a basketball player to be? How do you want people to remember you?
IT: I want to be the best little guy to ever play.
In the interview, Thomas said he’s gunning for Allen Iverson. But when I think of NBA little guys, I think of players shorter than six feet – in shoes, which is usually how they’re listed. Iverson measured six feet without shoes.
There have been plenty of excellent players under six feet, Calvin Murphy probably my choice for the best of all time. He’s the all-time win shares leader for such players.
Thomas, in just his third season, already ranks 26th, which is very impressive for such a young player.
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For Thomas to become the best little guy ever, he must first become the best little guy in the game. Right now, that’s 5-foot-11 Ty Lawson.
Though unlikely, it’s possible Thomas gets there. That he’s even in the conversation is a credit to him.