The Phoenix Suns completed a sign-and-trade deal with the Sacramento Kings that will send guard Isaiah Thomas to Phoenix in exchange for the rights to forward Alex Oriakhi, the club announced today.
“We welcome Isaiah Thomas,” said President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “His addition to our backcourt makes it one of the deepest and most dynamic in the league. We have enjoyed getting to know him during his visit to Phoenix this week. He will quickly become a fan-favorite.”
“Isaiah is one of the most dynamic scorers and playmakers in the NBA,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “I have always admired his competitive spirit and his love for the game. He will be a great fit for our up-tempo attack and he will help solidify what we believe is the best backcourt in the league.”
The 5-9, 185-pound Thomas is a three-year NBA veteran who averaged career-highs of 20.3 points on 45.3 percent shooting, 6.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 72 games with the Kings last season. One of just six players in the NBA to average at least 20 points and six assists in 2013-14, Thomas registered a career-high of 38 points on two occasions this past season. Thomas also recorded his first career triple-double with 24 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Washington on March 18.
A career 44.7 percent shooter from the floor, including 36.0 percent from three-point range, Thomas is an efficient scorer whose 15.3-point career average has come on 11.6 field goal attempts per game. In Thomas’ two games at US Airways Center last season, the guard from Tacoma, Wash., averaged 26.0 points on 57.6 percent shooting, including a 29-point performance in Phoenix on Dec. 13.
The final selection (60th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft out of the University of Washington, Thomas has posted the fourth highest scoring average of his draft class through three seasons. In 216 career games, all with Sacramento, he has scored in double figures 162 times, including 72 games with 20-plus points and eight games scoring 30-plus points. Thomas has also posted 12 career games with double-digit assists, with each performance also representing a double-double.
A second round pick (57th overall) by the Suns out of the University of Missouri in the 2013 NBA Draft, Oriakhi played internationally and in the NBA D-League this past season. Oriakhi, who had been included on the Suns’ summer league roster, will no longer play with the Suns at NBA Summer League 2014 in Las Vegas.