With Jose Calderon and Shane Larkin traded to the New York Knicks in the Tyson Chandler deal, the Dallas Mavericks are short at the point guard position. And with free agency in the works, it seems that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has someone on his mind that could fill the position.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban called Kings free agent guard Isaiah Thomas today, a source said. The Pistons & Celtics also interested in Thomas
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 2, 2014
Isaiah Thomas is a peculiar free agent. While he’s restricted, the Sacramento Kings–who own the right to match any offer sheet Thomas signs–have shown little interest in re-signing the 60th overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft. The lack of interest is odd following a season where Thomas averaged 20.3 points on 45% shooting, 6.3 assists, and 2.9 rebounds per game. Had any other point guard posted those numbers, like Eric Bledsoe for instance, the NBA would be salivating at his feet, but his size seems to be a turnoff to the NBA, Kings included.
On the surface you get why: he’s 5’9 and 185 pounds. That size won’t be effective on defense as the point guard position evolves from playmaker to explosive scorer. But it’s too simple a reason not to treat Thomas like the rest of the field. Last season, Thomas was one of two points guards in the NBA to post a true-shooting percentage of 55% or higher, an effective-field goal percentage of 50% or higher and an usage rate percentage of 26% or higher. The other point guard? Golden State’s Stephen Curry.
With the Mavericks current roster construct, Thomas would fit in perfectly. He’d split ball-handling duties with Monta Ellis, be able to spot-up when Ellis is handling the ball, play in the pick-and-roll with Dirk Nowitzki and be covered for on defense because of Tyson Chandler’s presence. If the two parties could come to an agreement on salary, there’s no reason to see why a deal couldn’t be done. Of course, the Kings’ presence looms over the deal due to Thomas being restricted (Shaun Livingston going to Golden State could force the Kings to pay more attention to Thomas).
This is just one of the many intriguing story lines that doesn’t pertain to LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony to keep a keen eye on.