Isaiah Thomas

NBA draft: Best-ever No. 60 picks, where Kings will select in 2019

NBA draft: Best-ever No. 60 picks, where Kings will select in 2019

The Kings own the NBA draft's version of Mr. Irrelevant this year with the No. 60 overall pick. Well, the last time Sacramento had that selection, the player it took became pretty relevant. 

That was eight years ago, and the Kings certainly hope to find another steal with the last pick in the draft. It won't be easy, but there's been a few solid returns in the past when slotted with the 60th pick. 

Here are the three best NBA players ever taken with that selection.

Isaiah Thomas, PG, Kings, 2011

Oh, to walk down memory lane. 

Sacramento selected the Washington point guard, who was small in stature but big in getting buckets, with the final pick of the 2011 draft. He instantly became a weapon as a rookie, averaging 11.5 points while shooting what's still a career-high 37.9 percent from 3-point range. 

Thomas lasted three seasons with the Kings before being traded to the Suns in June 2014. He averaged 15.3 points and 4.8 assists per game in Sacramento before blossoming in Boston, where Phoenix traded him in 2015. Thomas became a two-time All-Star with the Celtics, and was fifth in MVP voting for the 2016-17 season.

Due to injuries, Thomas has bounced around between the Cavs, Lakers and Nuggets the last two seasons, and has seen his numbers significantly fall. Still, he has made an impact in the league.

Michael Cooper, SG, Lakers, 1978

Cooper is the all-time wins shares leader for someone drafted No. 60 overall, according to Basketball Reference. While Thomas still is playing, Cooper (52.5) has 7.2 more wins shares than the ex-King's 45.3. 

The five-time NBA champion played in just three games as a rookie. He didn't even start a game until his fourth year in the league.

Cooper's real prowess was on defense, as he was voted the 1986-87 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. The lanky 6-foot-5, 170-pound guard also made the All-Defensive team eight times. 

He was no slouch on offense, either, averaging 8.9 points per game during his 12-year career, all with the Lakers.

Drazen Petrovic, SG, Trail Blazers, 1986

The Hall of Famer spent just four seasons in the NBA, but they were quite impressive. Petrovic averaged 7.6 points per game off the bench as a 25-year-old rookie, then was traded by the Blazers to the Nets the next season. 

It was there that his career really took off. Petrovic averaged 19.5 points per game in 2.5 years as a Net, and was one of the most accurate 3-point shooters the game has ever seen, nailing 43.7 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. 

[RELATED: NBA mock draft 3.0]

Prior to his NBA career, Petrovic was an international star. He earned two silver medals and one bronze in the Olympics, and averaged 28.5 points per game for Real Madrid one season before being drafted by the Blazers.

Petrovic tragically died in a car accident in Croatia in 1993.

Doug Martin ready, willing to mentor Raiders first-round pick Josh Jacobs

Doug Martin ready, willing to mentor Raiders first-round pick Josh Jacobs

Doug Martin has spent most of his career as a feature running back, with some standout seasons to show for it. His career entered another phase last season, when he joined the Raiders knowing full well he’d be a backup.

Marshawn Lynch was the primary option when he signed up, and steady carries proved hard to come by as an understudy even with head coach/offensive play caller Jon Gruden’s propensity for using multiple backs. Lynch deserved the workload he got, and Jalen Richard was a change-of-pace back off the bench.

Martin went full-time after Lynch’s season-ending groin injury, and churned out a respectable 4.2 yards per carry. He wasn’t able to find another solid opportunity in free agency, and was unemployed when the Raiders drafted Josh Jacobs and signed Isaiah Crowell.

Crowell’s torn Achilles’ tendon brought Martin back to the Silver and Black, a second time with zero allusions of being the feature back. He came here to counsel Jacobs, and take over in an unexpected pinch.

He was frank about that fact after Tuesday’s OTA session.

“Josh Jacobs, he’s a good kid with good character,” Martin said. “You all heard his story, I read up on it myself. I commend him for being as strong as he is, and that being said I came here to mentor, push him, show him that I’ve been in the league eight years, so I am a vet now. I can’t believe it, but that’s the case and so I’m here to just be that role model for him.

"If he has any questions, I’m here for him to ask them. Like I said, he has good character, but at the same time he looks like he can just run you over, so he’s going to be great for the team.”

Martin definitely wanted a shot at steady carries, especially after leading the team with 723 rushing yards and four touchdowns primarily as a first-and-second-down back.

A Raiders reunion seemed likely at first, though the sides couldn’t agree on terms and Martin remained a free agent deep into the offseason. That was worrisome, but Martin insists it didn’t cause great consternation.

“If something doesn’t go your way, you just have to stay optimistic, and I was being optimistic with the situation,” Martin said. “I knew I was going to be somewhere and do good things, but it’s just crazy how things folded out. I wish happy healing to Isaiah Crowell for his Achilles' (tendon injury), but, when there is chaos you just make a positive out of negative and you just got to stay optimistic about it.”

Martin's back with the Raiders, understanding his role as mentor and backup capable of playing well on early downs.

This mentor/protégé partnership could work, considering how much Jacobs and Martin have in common. Both guys were first-round picks, with the Raiders adding Jacobs at No. 24 this year, and Tampa Bay taking Martin at No. 31 in 2012.

They also have similar builds, with Jacobs standing 5-foot-10, 220 pounds and Martin at 5-9, 223. Both guys can slash through the interior, with enough speed to pop good runs outside.

Martin had nearly 2,000 yards of total offense (on 368 touches!!) as a rookie, a sum the Raiders would gladly take from Jacobs early on.

Nearly a decade separates them and the Raiders are looking to get younger across the board, making this Jacobs’ time to shine.

[RELATED: Jacobs is Raiders rookie in best position to succeed]

This will be the first time Martin has assumed a mentorship role, but he’s ready for it.

“It’s not something I’m used to but it’s something that I want to do,” Martin said. “I’ve been in the league eight years. I’ve been through the whole spectrum of good to bad in this league and, if I can teach somebody, if I can teach Josh on what to do, what not to do, how to stay in on the narrow path and just keep his eye on the goal, then I’m here for that.

"And, yeah, I’m grateful.”

NBA rumors: Isaiah Thomas to make season debut for Nuggets vs. Kings

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USATSI

NBA rumors: Isaiah Thomas to make season debut for Nuggets vs. Kings

He's back, against the team where it all started. 

Isaiah Thomas is set to make his season debut for the Nuggets on Wednesday night against the Kings in Denver, reports ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. 

Thomas last played on March 22, 2018, as a member of the Lakers. He scored 15 points against the Pelicans, but then underwent hip surgery later in the month. 

Between the Cavs and Lakers, Thomas only played 32 games last season. He averaged 15.2 points per game, his lowest since his second year in the NBA. 

Two years ago, however, he was an All-Star for the Celtics and a borderline MVP candidate. Standing only 5-foot-9, Thomas averaged 25.5 points per game from 2015 to 2017. 

[RELATED: Breaking down Kings' chances to break 12-year NBA playoff drought]

Thomas' NBA career began in 2011 when he was selected by the Kings with the final pick in the draft. He lasted three seasons in Sacramento, where he averaged 15.3 points per game. 

The Kings (30-26) currently hold the tiebreaker over the Clippers (31-27) for the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference playoffs.