Suns Retorter: Isaiah Thomas Perfect Fit in Phoenix
You don't judge a series of chess matches on the first move. You don't review a movie based on casting without seeing it on the big screen. You certainly can't figure out how an NBA season will play out in the second week of July.
That element of the unknown is what makes the Suns acquisition of Isaiah Thomas so interesting.
The sign-and-trade deal that landed the fiery King from Sacramento was an unexpected move, as guard is a position of strength in the desert. But the unexpected is becoming the calling card for the front office led by Lon Babby and Ryan McDonough.
Last summer it was the trade for Eric Bledsoe that came so out of nowhere that you'd think McDonough and staff had studied the methods of the League of Shadows. Then came the deal that sent Luis Scola to Indiana for what was thought to be spare parts and a first round pick. And just before the season was about to start, the NBA's front office ninjas struck again, trading four players -- including two guys who had started significant minutes the previous season -- to the Wizards for the Emeka Okafor (who had as much of a chance of playing as I did) and another first rounder.
Each subsequent move was met with more questions than a SAT prep course and fewer concrete answers. It also came along with expectations of 20 or fewer wins from outsiders.
Every query was more than answered come November. Bledsoe blossomed into a borderline All-Star and showed two point guards could play together at the same time. Those "spare parts" turned out to be Miles Plumlee and Gerald Green, key members of the rotation. The Washington deal opened up more minutes for the aforementioned Plumlee and Markieff Morris down low. Both made the most of them, and those last place predictions were made to look utterly ridiculous 48 wins later.
The first move of the 2014 offseason inherently comes with questions if you only quickly look at it, as does any made in the new age of 24-hour analysis from anyone with a keyboard. The Suns already have talented guards on the roster but adding another is only confusing if you don't spend time examining it further.
Coach Jeff Hornacek's offense is built around guards who run so fast that they make the cars in a Vin Diesel movie jealous. Those guards need to be able to shoot, pass and aggressively score.
Thomas fits the bill. His addition also means that at any time in a game, the Suns offense will always have two of those types of players on the court at all times. Not to mention it protects the team against injury, a situation they faced all too often last season.
The newest Sun, Thomas, isn't afraid of questions though. At 5-9 he's been answering them his whole life. Oh, and he's answered all of them more efficiently than a MENSA member, especially when you consider he was selected with the last pick in the 2011 draft. Not only did he prove a guard of his stature can survive in this league, he showed they can thrive. Last season in Sacramento he took his game to the next level - pardon the cliche -- and averaged 20 points and six assists and proving his doubters wrong. (Remind you of anyone? See: Dragic, Goran.)
He's the perfect fit to join a group of guys who took pride in shocking the basketball world last season and are determined to do it again this year.
In fact I'll call it here. Thomas will instantly become a fan favorite overnight. He's Phoenix's type of guy. A hard worker who hasn't received the respect he sorely deserved and plays an exciting brand of basketball. His size and passing will evoke memories of Elliot "Socks Perry" and his ability for instant offense will be reminiscent of Eddie Johnson without the short-shorts.
One of the first steps in building off last seasons success is in the books. Only time will tell how it will all play out on the court, but enjoying the unexpected should be something Suns fans embrace. After last season, having a plethora of talented guards has proven to be a recipe for success.