With NBA Free Agency underway, numerous team have already been rumored to have interest in Isaiah Thomas. As such, we're going to keep a close eye on the other moves those teams are making, in an attempt to figure out how serious a threat they may be to steal away the Pizza Guy. The Kings, of course, hold the power to match any offer, but there are expected limits to how high they might go.
Detroit has been rumored to have maybe sorta possibly offered Isaiah a 3 year, $24 million contract. Meanwhile, the Pistons came to an agreement with Jodie Meeks on a three-year, $19 million contract, and Cartier Martin on a one-year minimum deal. According to ESPN, Detroit entered free agency with a little over $23 million in cap space, 8th most in the league. Meeks' deal won't preclude the Pistons from being able to offer $8 million per year to Isaiah.
The wildcard for Detroit is Greg Monroe. The speculation is that Detroit wants to keep him, but it remains to be seen what kind of contract Detroit might be willing to match, or what Monroe might fetch on the market.
While Dallas might be interested in Isaiah Thomas, they won't be making any immediate moves for him. Their first priority right now is attempting to woo Carmelo Anthony. Until Anthony is off the table, Dallas shouldn't be a major player in Isaiah discussions.
Despite the reports from Detroit, the Lakers remain the likeliest candidates to overpay for Isaiah. They have the cap space (a little over $23 million), and they have a glaring need to add talent. However, similar to Dallas, the Lakers think they have a shot at Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James. Until the big dominoes fall, the Lakers probably won't be actively pursuing Isaiah.
Different team, same story. Until Miami knows the exact details of contracts for Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and/or LeBron James, it will be difficult for them to negotiate anything specific with Isaiah. That said, if they creatively structure some contracts and find a way to make a significant offer to Isaiah, yikes.
It strikes me as odd that the Suns are in the mix for Isaiah. They have a ton of cap space ($35 million), but they haveGoran Dragic and seem likely to match nearly any offer Eric Bledsoe receives in restricted free agency. If, however, Bledsoe is not retained, Phoenix could be poised to offer a significant contract to Isaiah Thomas. They have the cap space to slightly overpay, in the hopes the Kings won't match. They used a similar tactic with Eric Gordon.
Boston has been connected to Isaiah Thomas, but they've also been in contact with approximately 29 other free agents. That isn't an exaggeration. The Celtics reportedly called about 30 free agents on Tuesday. They may be in play for Isaiah, but it would likely be in a swap for Rajon Rondo. Or, if the Celtics move Rondo in an unrelated deal, they could make a stronger push for Isaiah.
We'll continue to monitor the status of these teams, as well as any others than may become associated with Isaiah Thomas rumors. Every move these teams make impacts the options available to Isaiah.