#3. Isaiah Thomas Trade
Here is one of multiple cases of the Kings either passing on or moving on from a future MVP candidate.
Isaiah Thomas was the last pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, and quickly became a fan favorite in Sacramento. He played his way in to regular playing time, and by the 2013-’14 season was averaging 20.3 points and 6.3 assists per game. Thomas gave the Kings a legit threat at point guard, and a budding star to pair with fellow budding star DeMarcus Cousins. Along with Tyreke Evans, who just a few years removed from his Rookie Of The Year victory, the Kings seemed to have some promising pieces going forward.
For whatever reason, the Kings didn’t want to pay Thomas. Instead, they initiated a sign and trade with the Phoenix Suns, sending him and his new $28 million contract to Arizona in exchange for a $7 million trade exception. Whatever that is.
To be fair, the Suns didn’t really see it coming either. They traded Thomas after just 46 games in Phoenix in exchange for Marcus Thornton and the Cavaliers 2016 pick, which oddly enough ended up being traded to the Kings. You know how the rest goes: Thomas finds his footing in Boston, averages 28.9 points per game (3rd in the league), and even gets some MVP votes while leading his team to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Due to injuries as well as other factors, Thomas’ career trajectory has slowed, and he has bounced around the league for the last four seasons. Still, the Kings should be chastised for this move as much as any other. Except for our next two.