NBA Draft, Kings Save Best For Last
June 23, 2011
SEATTLE - University of Washington junior guard Isaiah Thomas was selected by the Sacramento Kings in the second round of Thursday's 2011 NBA Draft with the 60th overall pick. The pick was the last selection of the NBA Draft.
The wait was worrisome for Thomas, but well worth it for the 5-9 point guard from Tacoma, Wash.
"It was real nerve-wracking because I didn't expect to go that late," Thomas said late Thursday. "Even my agent was a little surprised, because we heard different things coming up into the draft. Other than that, it was just a blessing to get picked.
"I'm just glad. God has a plan for me and He chose for me to get picked by Sacramento. It's a great organization and it's a young team. I'm just ready to get after it."
Thomas is the seventh player during head coach Lorenzo Romar's nine years at Washington to be selected in the NBA Draft. He joins Quincy Pondexter (1st round, 26th overall, 2011 Oklahoma City-traded to New Orleans), Jon Brockman (2nd round, 38th overall, 2010 Portland-traded to Sacramento), Spencer Hawes (1st round, 10th overall, 2007 Sacramento), Brandon Roy (1st round, 6th overall, 2006 Minnesota-traded to Portland), Bobby Jones (2nd round, 37th overall, 2006 Philadelphia) and Nate Robinson (1st round, 21st overall, 2005 Phoenix-traded to New York) as Huskies to be selected in the last seven NBA drafts. Martell Webster (1st round, 6th overall, 2005 Portland) had committed to play at Washington, but instead declared for the draft out of high school.
"I'm excited for him that he got drafted," Romar said 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 drafted higher, but he is a part of this draft...So, I'm happy for him."
Thomas declared early for the NBA Draft on March 31 after scoring 1,721 points (16.4 ppg) in 105 games over three seasons at Washington. He left school ranking among UW's all-time leaders in scoring (sixth), third with 415 assists, eighth with 122 steals and third with 164 three-point field goals.
Despite his gaudy numbers, Thomas has always faced skepticism from pundits. The draft was no different. Now he is out to show everybody that they were wrong.
"I will be in the gym tomorrow," an excited Thomas said. "While I'm disappointed that some of the player got chosen ahead of me, at the same time, everything happens for a reason. I'm just ready to get after it and show the other 29 teams that they made a mistake."
In 2011, Thomas led the Pac-10 with 6.1 assists per game, ranked fourth with 16.8 points per game, third in assist to turnover ratio (2.0, 213/104), eighth with 1.7 3-pointers per game and eighth with 1.3 steals per game.
Washington was 76-30 during Thomas' three seasons. As a freshman in 2009, Thomas helped the Huskies to their first outright Pac-10 Championship since 1951. In 2010 and 2011 he was the Most Outstanding Player of the Pac-10 Tournaments leading UW to back-to-back titles.
During his college career, Thomas was the 2009 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, a two-time first team All-Pac-10 selection (2011 & 2010) and a second-team all-conference selection in 2009.