PHOENIX - The Suns did not just go for an offer sheet with restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas. They closed the deal.
Deepening a point-guard position of strength, the Suns agreed to a sign-and-trade deal with Sacramento that will bring Thomas to Phoenix on a four-year, $27 million deal in exchange for the rights to 2013 second-round pick Alex Oriakhi and a $7 million trade exception.
Yahoo! first reported news of the Suns deal with Thomas, who came to Phoenix on Thursday and continued his visit with the Suns today. azcentral sports sources confirmed the trade.
The Suns sought Thomas, 25, to be the ideal third guard behind starters Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe with the continued intent to also keep Bledsoe, who is a restricted free agent. The Suns intend to use their rights to match an offer sheet on Bledsoe, whose market might have taken a hit Friday with the Los Angeles Lakers acquiring Jeremy Lin.
The Suns roster will be overrun with point guards once Thomas signs and if Bledsoe returns. They just drafted Tyler Ennis, who Toronto tried to acquire in a trade. Ish Smith's 2014-15 salary becomes guaranteed next week if he is still on the roster, which appears unlikely. Smith played the role of third point guard last season, making Thomas a significant upgrade in that role. Archie Goodwin can play point guard but has been developed as a shooting guard.
Thomas was Sacramento's 60th overall pick, the draft's final slot, in 2011 after a college career at Washington, his native state. His explosive play earned immediate time, and his competitive nature showed when he beat out Aaron Brooks and Greivis Vasquez over the past two seasons to be the Kings' starting point guard.
Last season, Thomas averaged a career-best 20.3 points and career-best 6.3 assists and 1.3 steals with 45.3 percent shooting from the field.
Without a sign-and-trade, Sacramento would have held rights to match any offer sheet for Thomas, 25, but the Kings recently agreed to give point guard Darren Collison a three-year, $16 million contract.