It just makes sense, doesn’t it?
Measurables: 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, junior G from Washington
Key stats: 16.9 points, 6.0 assists, 1.3 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field and 35 percent from three
Projected: Second round
How would he help the Pistons?
Last week, I profiled Kenneth Faried mostly because he’s often compared to Dennis Rodman. This week, why not go with the guy who shares a name (spelled slightly differently) of arguably the greatest Piston of all-time? Pistons fans will certainly appreciate how he came to have the name in the first place, according to his bio:
Named after the former Indiana and NBA all-star guard Isiah Thomas when his father, James, lost a friendly wager on a Lakers vs. Pistons playoff game in 1989 … the name was approved by his mother since she desired a biblical name.
As for on the court, Thomas has been compared to former UW guard Nate Robinson because both are diminutive but haven’t let their size prevent them from being explosive scorers. Thomas has been used off the ball at Washington for the most part, but has played a lot more point guard this season. He’ll never be confused with a pass-first or “true” PG, but if he has anywhere near the scoring ability Robinson has in the NBA, he’ll be worth a second round pick should he leave school early.
How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?
The last thing the Pistons need is another shoot-first guard who may not be able to defend his position. But I’ve always been an advocate of taking the best available talent, particularly in the second round, regardless of positional needs. If you don’t abide by that philosophy, you end up reaching for the equivalent of Rafael Araujo or Todd Fuller in the top 15. Still though, with all of the incumbent backcourt players likely back and a hopefully healthy season from Terrico White, any guard who came in via a second round pick would be a longshot to make the roster, let alone push for minutes.
What are others saying?
Looking at his point guard abilities, Thomas has matured substantially since we last profiled him, showing much better instincts and outstanding court vision. This 180 degree change in production and mentality as a playmaker makes all the difference in evaluating his draft stock, as it was nearly impossible to envision him making it in the NBA as a 5-9 shoot-first combo guard.
Thomas’ ability to play the point helps his draft stock tremendously. At his size, it’s hard enough to project him, but if he can play the point, he stands a better chance of succeeding than he does at the 2. There aren’t many players Thomas’ size in the NBA, but I am hearing a number of scouts starting to refer to him as a legit draft prospect. That’s quite an impressive upward trend from where he was two months ago.