The Phoenix Suns met with restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas on Thursday, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The team wasn’t expected to be a major suitor, but could throw an interesting wrinkle into the race for the Sacramento Kings’ undersized guard.
While the Suns already have Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe holding down the backcourt, Thomas could give the team a dangerous weapon off the bench and some convenient injury insurance. Bledsoe’s injury last season likely cost Phoenix a spot in the postseason, and having a backup like Thomas around would be a significant upgrade.
The Kings still retain the right to match any offer sheet that Thomas signs given his restricted free agent status, but they’ve never been especially committed to the 25-year-old. Last season began with Greivis Vasquez as the starting point guard before Thomas took the role after a midseason trade, and the Kings signed Darren Collison to a multi-year contract earlier this summer.
If Sacramento doesn’t value Thomas as much as other teams, he may be one of the few restricted free agents with a pretty decent chance of moving. It would just take one substantial offer sheet from another team, and the Suns have the available cap space to make something happen. Other rumored landing places include the Pistons, Heat and Lakers.
It may seem like an unconventional move for the Suns, but the past year has shown that management in Phoenix doesn’t mind doing things differently. From trading Marcin Gortat before last season to partnering Dragic with Bledsoe, the Suns have shown a willingness to take some risks, and it’s often paid off.
So we can’t count Phoenix out, especially if they’re meeting with Thomas. However, Thomas reportedly sees himself as a starter, and the Suns probably can’t promise him that. They can pay him like one, though, and that might be enough in the end.