Phoenix Suns’ head coach Jeff Hornacek a big fan of what Isaiah Thomas brings
The reaction to the Phoenix Suns’ acquisition of point guard Isaiah Thomas has been pretty universal.
Something along the lines of “he’s good, but don’t the Suns have enough point guards?”
Thomas, who agreed to a four-year, $27 million deal with Phoenix last week, joins a talented backcourt that already boasts Goran Dragic and restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe.
So why all the point guards?
“I think what the thought process is, we have between Eric and Goran, and Ish (Smith) did a fantastic job for us, but if one of those guys gets hurt — which Eric missed 40 games and I think Goran missed eight with ankle injuries and stuff like that — you have a quality guy that can score,” Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “There’s always going to be that pressure of scoring from the point guard and opening up our other guys.
“We’re going to have to move Markieff (Morris) to starting now, so that’s going to give other guys like Marcus (Morris) more time at the 4 with the second group, so we just felt that someone who puts on a little more pressure scoring-wise can open up some of those other guys.”
Thomas certainly puts pressure on opposing defenses. In 72 games with Sacramento last season, the 5-foot-9 guard averaged 20.3 points per contest — tied for 17th in the league. Hornacek says the former Washington Husky’s value spreads far past the stat sheet.
“He’s got toughness. He’s not the tallest guy in the world obviously, but he plays much bigger,” he said. “He’s going to help with the leadership that we maybe lost with Channing, so he’s going to be a second voice. He’s very vocal with his teammates trying to help them out.
“And obviously, his scoring and his ability to push the ball — he fits perfectly into our style. We shouldn’t miss a beat when one of those other two guys are out.”
Of course, the possibility of a less-crowded point guard position still exists. As a restricted free agent, Bledsoe can receive offer sheets with other teams and the Suns would have the ability to match that offer and keep him in Phoenix. An offer has yet to happen.
“I think Eric and his people are just trying to find a place that gives him an offer sheet to see what we’ll do with it,” Hornacek said. “I think we’re committed to do anything we can to keep him so I think it’s probably just a matter of time until we work out a deal with him.”