Thomas taken with last pick of draft
Isaiah Thomas (Kim Grinolds/
Isaiah Thomas (Kim Grinolds/
Posted Jun 24, 2011
Chris Fetters (

Isaiah Thomas said all along that it would only take one team to fall in love with him to get drafted, and he was proven right Thursday - but it took some time. The Sacramento Kings didn't profess their affection for the former Washington guard until the very last pick of the 2011 NBA Draft.

“I’m very excited," Thomas said. "You know me. That’s all I wanted. All I needed was a chance…and I got it. I’m going to take full advantage of it.”

"I'm excited for him that he got drafted," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar added at the conclusion of the draft. "With there only being two rounds and 60 players chosen, I'm glad that he was one of them. I know he would have like to have gotten drafter higher, but he is a part of this draft...So, I'm happy for him."

Thomas was the sixth player from the Pac-10 to be drafted, behind Derrick Williams, Klay Thompson, Nikola Vucevic, Tyler Honeycutt, and Malcolm Lee, but the two-time All-Pac-10 performer was eventually taken with the 60th selection, joining BYU's Jimmer Fredette (through trade) and Honeycutt.

"Isaiah Thomas with the last pick - Hollywood producers would say, 'Get that outta here - not realistic'", ESPN anchor Stuart Scott said just after Thomas become the footnote pick of the draft, alluding to his namesake - former Detroit Pistons guard Isiah Thomas.

"He's a left-hander, just 5-10," added ESPN's Jay Bilas. "He's got an explosive 38-inch vertical...very dynamic. He was primarily a scorer his first two years at Washington. Last year, when point guard Abdul Gaddy went down with an injury, he took over at the point and really became a leader with the ball in his hands...averaged about six assists a game, was very unselfish...proved he could be a point guard at the high college level, high major. I thought he did a really good job.

"One of those guys that is a fighter, even though he is small. He plays bigger. And he can make a team."

Thomas' UW teammates - Justin Holiday and Matthew Bryan-Amaning - were not drafted, but are expected to be invited to team camps as free agents.

This isn't the first time Sacramento has looked to Washington for talent. In 2009, Jon Brockman was initially picked by the Portland Trailblazers, but the Kings made a draft-day deal to acquire his rights. And in 2007, Sacramento took UW's Spencer Hawes with the No. 10 overall pick.

"I had a great workout there," Thomas said of Sacramento. "It was one of my first workouts and I shot the ball well and just competed at a high level. They liked that. I talked to Coach Paul Westphal today and one of the Maloof brothers after they selected me and they were surprised that I dropped that late, but they were also excited. They told me they can’t wait to meet me and can’t wait to get things going because they the type of player I am. I’m just happy because everybody doesn’t get this opportunity.”

“He had good workouts with (Sacramento), so I know they were impressed with him," Romar added. "With Tyreeke Evans, Jimmer Fredette and Pooh Jeter there…in Isaiah’s case I know he’s going to make the best of whatever situation he is in.”

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