WATCH: Isaiah Thomas forces OT, stares down Mayweather

Phoenix Suns point guard Isaiah Thomas hit a jump shot at the buzzer to force overtime, then stared down boxer Floyd Mayweather in the front row, during Tuesday night’s preseason game against the L.A. Lakers.Thomas was in the perfect spot to grab the rebound of Gerald Green’s missed three-pointer, and he sank the jumper to tie the game at 94-94 and force OT. After making the shot, he turned to Mayweather, who happened to be sitting close by, and playfully stared him down as he walked off the court towards the bench. Mayweather got a real big laugh out of it, so it was all in good fun.Thomas led the Suns with 26 points, including 5 points in overtime, to give the Suns a 114-108 victory over the Lakers.Video via NBA. This post appeared first on Holdout Sports. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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Isaiah Thomas stares down Floyd Mayweather after forcing overtime (Video)

Phoenix Suns point guard Isaiah Thomas hit a jump shot at the buzzer to force overtime, then stared down boxer Floyd Mayweather in the front row, during Tuesday night’s preseason game against the L.A. Lakers.Thomas was in the perfect spot to grab the rebound of Gerald Green’s missed three-pointer, and he sank the jumper to tie the game at 94-94 and force OT. After making the shot, he turned to Mayweather, who happened to be sitting close by, and playfully stared him down as he walked off the court towards the bench. Mayweather got a real big laugh out of it, so it was all in good fun.Thomas led the Suns with 26 points, including 5 points in overtime, to give the Suns a 114-108 victory over the Lakers.Video via NBA.
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Elijah Thomas picks A&M over SMU, Illinois

Elijah Thomas picked Texas A&M over LSU, Illinois, SMU and Oklahoma State.

      
 

 

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Elite forward Elijah Thomas picks A&M over SMU, Illinois

Elijah Thomas picked Texas A&M over LSU, Illinois, SMU and Oklahoma State.

      
 

 

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Iowa St’s Thomas, Nader suspended 3 games (Yahoo Sports)

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State’s Matt Thomas and Abdel Nader will serve three-game suspensions for offseason drunken-driving arrests.

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Celtics Waive Malcolm Thomas and John Lucas III, Sixers Grab Chris Johnson

In a continuation of the Keith Bogans trade, the Boston Celtics waived Malcolm Thomas and John Lucas III, as expected and Chris Johnson found a new home, also as expected. 

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Chris Thomas, Deverell Biggs commit to Texas Southern

Mike Davis has made the Texas Southern Houston campus a resort for second chances players.

      
 

 

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Suns’ Isaiah Thomas has arthroscopic wrist surgery (Yahoo Sports)

PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix Suns guard Isaiah Thomas has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist.

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Why Los Angeles Lakers Should Try to Lure Isaiah Thomas Away in Free Agency

The Steve Nash experiment didn’t work out quite as planned. In two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, the iconic point guard has played in just 65 games because of injuries.

The organization’s search for the point guard of the future is overdue at this point, but now it finally has the financial flexibility to earnestly engage in such a pursuit.

A pursuit that could nab someone like Sacramento Kings restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas.

Ordinarily, landing a restricted free agent isn’t easy. The incumbent team has the right to match any offer received on the open market, so suitors often shy away from the process. But Thomas is a different story altogether, especially after the Kings agreed to terms with former Clippers point guard Darren Collison.

Collison‘s presence in Sacramento could be a harbinger of things to come for Thomas. USA Today‘s Sam Amick reports that, “A person with knowledge of Collison‘s situation not only confirmed the agreement but said the 26-year-old who was Chris Paul‘s backup with the Los Angeles Clippers last season is heading for Sacramento with the understanding that he will be the starter.”

That likely means the Kings will balk at matching a large contract for Thomas. They wouldn’t make that kind of investment in someone they view as a sixth man, not with other teams pursuing Thomas as a key long-term piece.

Should Sacramento hold on to its money and let Thomas walk, the Lakers could be the benefactors.

They’re certainly high on Thomas’ list.

And they have been for a long time. According to Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy:

It’s well-documented that Thomas grew up a diehard fan of the Lakers since his father is from Los Angeles, and he has idolized Bryant since he was a child. When asked what it would mean to sign an offer sheet with the Lakers, Thomas admits that it would be special.

“It would mean a lot,” Thomas said, per Kennedy. “Not even just the Lakers, but just to have other teams trying to get you, it means you’re wanted.”

The Lakers could certainly make Thomas feel wanted—namely because they have good reason to want him.

Even if Nash goes out with a bang and plays an integral role this season, the franchise has to start thinking ahead. Thomas would be an important start.

The 25-year-old had a breakout 2013-14 campaign, posting 20.3 points and 6.3 assists. He was efficient, too, especially for a guy who took 5.1 three-pointers per contest. Thomas finished the season with a 20.54 player efficiency rating, a mark that ranked fourth among point guards. His .574 true-shooting percentage placed him ninth among point guards.

Put simply, Thomas is an electric scorer coming off his best season. He added an estimated 11.9 wins for the Kings last season, speaking to the pivotal role he played for a young, rebuilding team.

Could he play a similar role for the Lakers?

Los Angeles could use a point guard who can shoot the ball, creating space for Kobe Bryant to operate from the mid-range and the post. Though the young floor general still has plenty to learn about running an offense, he’d be able to ease his way into the responsibility—initially allowing Bryant and Nash to initiate much of the offense.

Thomas would also benefit from having Nash around as a mentor. Few—if any—current players are better suited to training an up-and-coming point guard on the spot. Nash can do it with his eyes closed.

That kind of relationship would bode well for the franchise’s future.

Though Thomas is small (5’9″) and somewhat of a liability defensively, his knack for offense has to make him an attractive option.

And at the moment, the organization is relatively short on options.

As in-house solutions go, Los Angeles is limited to the affordable but inexperienced Kendall Marshall. The 22-year-old earned heavy minutes last season in Nash’s absence, averaging a fairly impressive 8.0 points and 8.8 assists. The pass-first point guard showed flashes of promise, but isn’t nearly as ready to take the helm as Thomas. 

Assuming restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe is out of the organization’s price range (or otherwise likely to be retained by the Phoenix Suns), there are few other free-agent possibilities seriously worth exploring.

Veteran Jameer Nelson could probably be had at a reasonable price, but at 32 he’s not the kind of guy around whom the Lakers can build. The same goes for Portland‘s Mo Williams.

Los Angeles could probably outbid the Toronto Raptors in pursuit of restricted free agent Greivis Vasquez, but Thomas is an all-around better player.

That leaves LA with a grab bag of relatively unattractive possibilities including Mario Chalmers, Kirk Hinrich, Ramon Sessions or D.J. Augustin—none of whom has the starting pedigree Thomas possesses at the moment.

So even if Thomas doesn’t seem overwhelmingly attractive at first glance, consider the alternatives. 

Thomas will start to grow on you.

At least if he’s available at the right price. The Lakers are set to have plenty of cap space in 2015, when guys like Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo are scheduled to become free agents. Much as this team wants to win now, it would be well-advised not to overspend and jeopardize future flexibility.

Pending that consideration, Thomas appears to be a strong fit, perhaps a valuable missing piece.

If the Lakers are looking around the market and doing their due diligence, they certainly can’t overlook him. 

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Isaiah Thomas Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation Surrounding Star Guard

Isaiah Thomas‘ first foray into free agency had many expecting a major financial windfall for the second-round pick turned 20-point scorer.

Recent reports indicate that assumption may be wrong. 

Sam Amick of USA Today recently spoke to a source who indicated Thomas’ market value may be depressed due to his status as a restricted free agent. The source estimated that Thomas will receive offers in the range of $4 million and $6 million per season.

While that’s a massive pay raise over the $884,293 he made in 2013-14, it’s pittance compared to the salary level of most players with Thomas’ statistical output. The diminutive guard averaged 20.3 points, 6.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds this past season, his first getting full-time starter minutes. Thomas’ 20.5 player efficiency rating was fifth league-wide among point guards, per Basketball-Reference, and he’s a relatively young free agent (25).

Thomas recently told Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders he feels he’s established himself as one of the league’s top guards:

I felt like if I was given an opportunity, I could be one of the top guards in the NBA. I’ve said that before and people kind of looked at me sideways. But I feel like it’s all about opportunity and taking advantage of what people give you. The Sacramento Kings and Mike Malone gave me an opportunity and I just ran with it and did the things that I know how to do.

Amick’s source, however, highlights the tricky nature of restricted free agency. The Kings have the right to match any offer sheet signed by Thomas. Because of the NBA’s moratorium on official transactions, no deal can technically be signed until July 10. That gives Sacramento until July 13 to decide whether or not whatever offer put on the table is worth matching.

With unrestricted free agents offering a far less onerous path, teams are often more cautious with their restricted free agent overtures. Thomas will be the third or fourth option down the line for a team with cap space, rather than possibly being first or second if he was unrestricted.

There is also the question of how much Thomas’ size plays a factor. At 5’9″, he’s always going to be at a defensive disadvantage despite his strong build. The Kings ranked in the NBA’s bottom 10 in defensive efficiency, and it’s hard to tell whether Mike Malone can build an above-average defense with Thomas earning major minutes. The point guard position is too good across the league, and Thomas’ size puts him at a disadvantage against every other position.

Still, if Amick’s source proves correct, the Kings would be getting a steal with Thomas at the mid-level. A score-first point guard, the former Washington standout has an innate ability to finish through traffic. He made 62.4 percent of his shots inside the restricted area this past season, better than contemporaries Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry.

Factor in Thomas’ career 36 percent shooting from three-point range—roughly league average—and he’s a uniquely gifted player worthy of being an NBA starter. If his size and his restricted free agent status depress his market, the Kings may get a bargain. Jonathan Santiago of Cowbell Kingdom noted Sacramento has already been getting quite a value:

Then again, maybe Thomas will be better off accepting Sacramento’s qualifying offer. Although that would hurt his bank account in the short term, he could do free agency all over again next summer without the looming worry of a matched offer sheet. An extra season as a starter would also help Thomas prove his breakout 2013-14 campaign was not a fluke and flash much-needed improvement on the defensive end.

The Kings, already above the salary cap, would welcome the high production at a cheap cost. It’s difficult to tell what will happen. In most cases, the allure of long-term security winds up trumping the possibility of delayed gratification.

With Thomas having to suffer through second-round money his first three seasons, he might be satisfied with grabbing his first multi-million dollar check. It just not might be as many millions as he initially hoped.

 

All salary information is via Sham Sports. Statistics, unless otherwise noted, are via NBA.com.

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.

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