Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings: Why Isaiah Thomas Must Start over Aaron Brooks at PG

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 21:  Isaiah Thomas #22 of the Sacramento Kings looks on during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on February 21, 2012 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIAugust 23, 2012

With the 2012 NBA period of free agency all but concluded, it's almost time for each individual player and franchise to hit the court. With training camp set to start and the war for playing time certain to ensue, it's safe to say that no team is safe from the potential civil war zone.

Let the position battles begin.

One of the teams that we can expect to hear from this offseason are the Sacramento Kings.

The Kings made waves when they signed veteran point guard Aaron Brooks this offseason. This adds to a position that already has 2012 draft picks Jimmer Fredette and Isaiah Thomas on the depth chart.

The move also creates a battle for minutes between Brooks and Thomas, whose reputation and on-court production both merit the starting job. The question is, who will emerge as the starting point guard?

Come Oct. 31 when the Sacramento Kings open up their season against the Chicago Bulls, we will know.

But who deserves the job most?

There is no hiding how desperate the Sacramento Kings are for a veteran presence in the backcourt. The team's four main guards from 2012 all are under 24 and have lacked the necessary mentor since entering the league.

This suggests the direction of the team should be in Brooks' hands. However, the fact of the matter is, 23-year-old Thomas has more to offer to this team than any other player on the roster.

Talent has never been the issue in Sacramento. The problem that the Kings have found is that their players are unmotivated. The one exception to this rule, though, has been the 5'9" Thomas, whose energy and all-out effort on both ends of the floor overwhelmed opponents.

The fact that he has the skill to put up 15 and 10 simply takes it to another level.

Opponents were not the only ones overwhelmed by this energy, however, as the Kings themselves were taken back by Thomas' devotion to the team. Players such as DeMarcus Cousins and Marcus Thornton began performing at an all-time high level, posting career-best numbers and previously unseen maturity.

As is the effect Thomas has on this team, and such is the exact reason he must start over Brooks.

From a statistical standpoint, Brooks potentially could outperform the final pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. What cannot be matched or outdone, though, are the heart and energy that Thomas brings to the floor.

Thomas was the one man giving his all on every play for an otherwise careless team. His size has yet to prove to be a true hindrance, and his production has, thus far, been at a steady pace.

Thomas' positive influence on a team without direction, however, is the clinching factor. There is no option but to name him as the starting point guard.

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