In this last month of the season rookie Ray McCallum has taken the Sacramento Kings nation by storm. The second-round pick from the 2013 draft has made some noise with his play at the point guard position these last few weeks, leaving the question: Is Isaiah Thomas now expendable?
Isaiah has missed nine straight games due to a quad contusion and is in question of missing the rest of the season because of the injury. The injury has definitely cleared the way for the young Ray McCallum to really show this Kings franchise what he has to offer. Each game for McCallum seems to get better visually and also statistically. Over Ray’s last 15 games he has averaged 14 points, 1.7 steals, and seven assists. He has really become the player to watch for the Kings behind DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, and with no one on the bench to take away his minutes, McCallum is looking to end the season out strong.
With all this attention on McCallum, some negative attention has been brought to the injured Isaiah to which I ask, why? Isaiah has undoubtedly earned his place in the Kings starting lineup and the league in general. Isaiah was having a fantastic season from start to finish, off the bench or as a starter Isaiah has made his presence on the court known.
However, there is one thing that no one should forget; Isaiah will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and with how great the 5-foot-9 point guard has played this season, Isaiah is definitely looking at a big pay day this offseason. Now like I said, Isaiah is a restricted free agent, so that does mean the Kings have the option of matching any offer that Isaiah is offered but should the Kings really match any offer? I mean you have already given the keys to the franchise to DeMarcus Cousins by giving him a max contract and the Kings have taken on Rudy Gay’s contract in which if he decides to opt into this offseason, the team will be paying Gay$ 19 million next season.
With so much of the payroll now taken by just two players, can the Kings really afford the price tag of Isaiah Thomas? The skill and depth is definitely needed on this Kings roster, which is sort of ironic sense one of the biggest flaws of the Kings before the season began was that they had too many guards on their roster. One more question that may be pending the continuation of Isaiah Thomas in a Kings uniform is who will the Kings be looking to draft? With so many names that are slated to be in one of the best draft classes since 2003, the decision on who the Kings will draft is very interesting.
Most of this situation with Thomas is in career with the Kings in question, is not because of how well McCallum has played, who the Kings draft, or even the price for Isaiah. This entire question revolving around No. 22 will be answered–by Rudy Gay. Gay’s decision to opt in or out of his contract is what makes Isaiah Thomas expendable. I expect quiet-a-bit of movement from the Kings this offseason, with many tough decisions that will either, help or slow down the rebuilding process that the Kings have been in for far too long. Prepare yourselves, Kings fans.