PHOENIX (AP) Isaiah Thomas says he considers himself a starting point guard in the NBA but he’s willing to sacrifice that to play for a winning team.
Thomas, acquired by the Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade deal with Sacramento, spoke at a news conference on Monday.
”I value myself as a starter,” he said, ”but when it comes down to winning I’ll do anything it takes to win. I want to be on a winning team. `’The Suns employ a double point-guard system and envision a rotation between Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Thomas.
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Coach Jeff Hornacek calls it ”a three-headed monster” at guard with two of the three on the court all the time.
”There’s going to be two of those guys on the court at all times,” Hornacek said, ”and when that happens teams are going to really have to plan for that.”
The 5-foot-9 Thomas was the last player chosen in the 2011 and worked his way up to becoming one of the highest-scoring point guards in the league, averaging 20.3 points per game for Sacramento. He signed a four-year, $27 million contract and said he loves Phoenix’s up-tempo system.
”At the end of the day we’re going to play with each other, no matter who starts and who comes off the bench,” Thomas said. ”It’s about winning. The individual success will come.”
Thomas praised the way he was treated by the Suns from the start.
”I wanted to feel wanted,” Thomas said. ”They brought me in with open arms. They liked me for being who I was, they liked me for being 5-9, they liked me for being a shoot-first point guard.”
Bledsoe is an unrestricted free agent. The Suns have been in talks with his representatives but reportedly the two sides are far apart. Bledsoe could sign an offer sheet with another team, but the Suns could match it.
The team also introduced newly signed forward Anthony Tolliver, a well-traveled, sharpshooting forward who is counted on to help fill the void left by the departure of Channing Frye.. The Suns are Tolliver’s seventh NBA team.
”These two guys have earned everything they’ve achieved,” general manager Ryan McDonough said. ”They haven’t been given anything. I think at different times of their careers they’ve been overlooked.”