Isaiah Thomas of the Sacramento Kings has defied all the odds and is turning in a very impressive rookie season. Thomas was selected with the last pick in the 2011 NBA draft and was passed over by every other NBA team on draft day. Part way into his rookie season, Thomas entered the starting lineup for Sacramento and never looked back.
Watching the team this season, it's been clear that Thomas was a missing piece that Sacramento has been looking for the last few years. Tyreke Evans is a very good player but is not a natural point guard. The team has been missing a pass first option at the point guard position who looks to setup teammates first. Thomas has been just that player for Sacramento. His play has earned him rookie of the month awards in both February and March for the Western Conference.
Thomas is likely to be amongst the favorites, but is still a longshot to win rookie of the year for the 2011-12 season. Thomas is averaging 11.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game for Sacramento this season. Fans have recognized and appreciate Thomas' play on the court this year. Sacramento fans shouldn't be expecting the award to come Thomas' way though.
The player who stands in Thomas' way figures to be Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving is averaging 18.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game on the season. He has sparked improvement in a bad Cavs team. If it weren't for Irving, Thomas may have some hope for the coveted award. As it is, Sacramento fans have to be ecstatic with the play they've gotten out of Isaiah this season and be excited for the future of the team. An end of year award is not what will turn the team around in Sacramento. Sacramento needs to continue drafting quality players like Thomas and trying to build a winning team that the fans there deserve.
Kyle Rapoza is a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and a lifelong fan of the Sacramento Kings. He started going to Kings games at age six and has attended hundreds of games since. Follow him on twitter @kyler11.
- Sacramento Kings