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Thomas Drafted: Better Late Than Never

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by: Griffin Bennett

Milan Macvan? Chukwudiebere Maduabum? Tanguy Ngombo? Ater Makok? Adam Hanga? These are the players who have a better chance in the NBA than Isaiah Thomas? I was shocked that these deep deep deep (deep) sleepers from across the Atlantic were being picked above IT. The Lakers passed on him twice in the last 5 picks right after they just got torn apart by a similar player in J.J. Barea. Needless to say, I was shocked.

I have to admit that I am looking at it through purple lenses but I’m not someone who thinks I.T. is a potential All-Star or anything. I don’t even think that he could be a starter on a playoff team. However, I think he WILL be a terrific bench player that helps solidify a team on there way to a championship.

With the 60th and final pick of the draft, the Sacramento Kings were gifted a player that will provide depth at a position that they desperately need. Thomas, along side fellow draftee Jimmer Fredette, will compete for the point guard role on a very young team that has some great promise. I’m not a Jimmer believer and I think I.T. is the kind of player who can pick apart Jimmer both on offense and defense. Keep your eye on the Kings’ camp (if there even is one this year) because I think I.T. will definitely make some immediate waves.

I fully expect teams to invite MBA and Holiday to camps and I wish them both the best.

Here are some quotes from I.T. from draft day:

On being drafted:

“I’m very excited. You know me. That’s all I wanted. All I needed was a chance…and I got it. I’m going to take full advantage of it.”

How nerve-wracking was it to have to wait so long to hear your name called:

“It was real nerve-wracking because I didn’t expect to go that late. Even my agent was a little surprised because we heard different things coming up into the draft. Other than that, it was just a blessing to get picked. I’m just glad. God has a plan for me and He chose for me to get picked by Sacramento. It’s a great organization and it’s a young team. I’m just ready to get after it.”

How did the draft process go with Sacramento and what do you know about them:

“I know a little bit. I had two of my good friends Jon Brockman and Spencer Hawes play there in previous years, so I know a little bit. I had a great workout there. It was one of my first workouts and I shot the ball well and just competed at a high level. They liked that. I talked to Coach Paul Westphal today and one of the Maloof brothers after they selected me and they were surprised that I dropped that late, but they were also excited. They told me they can’t wait to meet me and can’t wait to get things going because they the type of player I am. I’m just happy because everybody doesn’t get this opportunity.”

Will being selected as the last pick add to the chip that is already on your shoulder?:

“Yes. You know it will. I will be in the gym tomorrow. While I’m disappointed that some of the player got chosen ahead of me, at the same time, everything happens for a reason. I’m just ready to get after it and show the other 29 teams that they made a mistake.”

How did you spend the draft?:

“I was on my own. I was just waiting for my agent to call. I didn’t watch the draft. I was looking at (the TV) every few minutes, but I was just on my own playing the waiting game until my time came.”

When did you know you were going to be selected?:

“During the 58th pick I found out that Sacramento was going to take me. My agent called me and I was just excited. I shed a little tear with my family members. I got back home (to his Seattle apartment) right as my agent called. He called me right as I was walking up to my family members. It was just a blessing. It is a moment I will cherish for my life, but at the same time I got my foot in the door and now I’m going to knock it down.”

What were you doing prior to the draft?:

“I was up at the UW all day. I was just chilling with my teammates…Scott Suggs, Darnell (Gant), Dez (Desmond Simmons). We were in the gym for like four hours. We were just chilling and talking. It was good. I had my UW shirt on when I was drafted…I’m in purple now…so you know I’m going to always stay true to my school.”

What’s your message to Husky and Kings fans?:

“Husky fans, I hope you stay rooting for me and Kings’ fans, I’m going to bring a winner’s mentality and give 110 percent every chance I get.”