He waited five hours and almost two rounds, but University of Washington point guard Isaiah Thomas finally heard his name announced at the NBA draft in Newark, N.J., on Thursday.
The Tacoma native was the 60th and final selection in this year’s draft, picked by the Sacramento Kings.
Coached by former Sonics head coach Paul Westphal, the Kings are a good fit for Thomas, with an emphasis on playing fast and free offensively, requiring a point guard who can push the ball, pick up full court and make plays in the open floor.
“It’s a good thing,” said Isaiah’s father, James Thomas. “We’re just living the moment. He’s in, that’s all we wanted.
“They saved the best for the last, and that’s what it is. I think it’s a really good situation. I think he’ll fit in well there.”
But the question still lingers for the honorable mention All-American and all Pacific-10 Conference performer – now that he is Mr. Irrelevant as the final pick of the NBA draft. Did Thomas make the right decision?
For his part, the 5-foot-10 spark plug has remained confident that he chose correctly in coming out early and declaring himself for the draft with a year of eligibility remaining at Washington.
Thomas became the seventh Washington player selected in the NBA draft in the past seven years. That list includes some impressive names during UW coach Lorenzo Romar’s nine-year tenure – Nate Robinson (No. 21 overall, 2005), Brandon Roy (No. 6, 2006), Bobby Jones (No. 37, 2006), Spencer Hawes (No. 10, 2007), Jon Brockman (No. 38, 2009) and Quincy Pondexter (No. 26, 2010).
Portland Trail Blazers swingman Martell Webster (No. 6, 2005) committed to Washington but declared for the draft out of Seattle Prep.
“I’m excited for him that he got drafted,” Romar said of Thomas on the school’s web site. “With there only being two rounds and 60 players chosen, I’m glad that he was one of them. I know he would have liked to have gotten drafted higher, but he is a part of this draft.”
Thomas also is the third Husky drafted by Sacramento in the past five years, but both Hawes (Philadelphia) and Brockman (Milwaukee) have been traded to other teams.
The Kings were one of several teams that hosted Thomas for a predraft workout leading up to Thursday. He joins Tyreke Evans and BYU sharpshooter Jimmer Fredette, selected by Sacramento at No. 10 overall, in the Kings’ backcourt.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 firstname.lastname@example.org