Isaiah Thomas will join the Phoenix Suns via a sign-and-trade deal that gives his old Sacramento Kings squad a $7 million trade exception and the rights to 2013 second-round pick Alex Oriakhi,...

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The Suns signed Isaiah Thomas to a four-year, $27 million deal.

The Phoenix Suns have signed restricted free-agent Isaiah Thomas, the former starting point guard of the Sacramento Kings, to a four-year $27 million dollar deal through a sign-and-trade.

Isaiah Thomas averaged over 20 points and 6 assists for the Kings last season.

Suns and Kings are finalizing a sign-and-trade deal on a four-year, $27M contract for Isaiah Thomas, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 11, 2014

Isaiah Thomas confirms that he's heading to the Phoenix Suns once sign-and-trade is complete. Thomas: "I feel wanted. That's all I wanted."

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 11, 2014

God is great!!! I'm excited for what the future holds here in Phoenix. Proud 2 be apart of the @Suns organization! #Playoffs #Suns #TMC

— Isaiah Thomas (@Isaiah_Thomas2) July 11, 2014

The #Suns aren't signing Isaiah Thomas to deal Bledsoe or Ennis. Plan to use RFA rights on Bledsoe. Ennis, 19, can develop in Bakersfield.

— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) July 11, 2014

It's official! pic.twitter.com/LHpoTj500w

— Kayla Wallace (@KaylaJasmin) July 12, 2014

According to reports, the deal includes Phoenix sending Alex Oriakhi and a $7 million trade exception to Sacramento to ensure he is not matched by the Kings.

This is an incredible bargain for such a high-caliber point guard.  Regardless of what the Suns' future plans are, this is a very good deal for Phoenix going forward.

A parade in Cleveland and a riot in the streets of Miami might be at the two epicenters of LeBron James’ decision, but the aftershocks will certainly reach Phoenix. This is a complicated NBA...

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Is Luol Deng the next target?

The Suns, reportedly, appear to be close to giving an offer sheet to Isaiah Thomas, who the Sacramento Kings will be hard-pressed to match.  Now, with LeBron James officially proclaiming his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Suns next target may be on the horizon.

Luol Deng, a 29 year-old 6' 8" forward who averages around 16 points and 6 rebounds per game, may be the Suns' next priority.

League sources also say stars now align in post-decision world for Luol Deng to land in Phoenix. Several teams still in mix.

— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 11, 2014

The Suns still have loads of cap space available, and without a max-level player left to chase in free-agency, they seem to be focusing on the next tier of talent. Deng would provide not only perimeter scoring off the catch-and-shoot, but also the versatility and skill to get to the rim off the dribble, and even post up down low.

Not to mention, the perfect mentor for one of the Suns' newest draft picks, T.J. Warren.

Luol Deng was originally drafted by the Phoenix Suns as the seventh pick overall in 2004, before his draft rights were immediately traded to Chicago as part of an earlier deal.

Could Deng be the next free agent "coming home"?

Could Channing Frye's replacement already be on the team?

Alex Brown, the 7' 1" power forward from Wisconsin-Green Bay, may just be the Suns' best option to replace the loss of the former Phoenix stretch-four sharp-shooter, Channing Frye.

While that may seem like a huge gamble, and it is, the reality of the situation is that there just aren't very many attractive options in free-agency that the Suns could turn to.  Even more so if the Suns aim to retain their salary cap flexibility in which they can take yet another swing at a max-caliber player in free agency next year, or possibly acquire a big name player before the trade deadline.

Why it makes sense

One thing Brown has going for him is that he already possesses the most important skill needed to replace Channing Frye--the ability to knock down threes and spread the floor on offense.  As a senior, Brown shot 42% from beyond the arc.  In addition, he tied for first place among all players at the NBA Draft Combine by hitting 18 of 25 from deep.  There's no question he can shoot the ball.

However, Brown is a work in progress, no doubt about it.  He lacks strength and needs to improve his defense and rebounding, especially when transitioning to the NBA where he will need to guard much stronger, faster, and more skilled opponents.  Although Frye was never regarded as great defender or rebounder, he could at least hold his own.  With Brown, that's a huge question mark right now.

With Summer League starting this weekend, Alec Brown could answer a lot of these questions about his ability and readiness to step in and contribute. With an immediate opening for the position, could Alec Brown forego an assignment overseas and/or the D-League altogether, and actually play his way onto the roster with an impressive Summer League performance?

In an exclusive interview with our own Dave King, Brown elaborated on his chances of making the roster.  "From what I've heard from (the Suns), they want to see how I can play in Summer League.  They want to see how well I'll do, how well I'll fit on the team, and see how their roster pans out and go from there."  He continued, "If I need to go overseas for a year or two, I'll be willing to do that.  If I have a good Summer League and can possibly stay here, I'd be fine with that too (laughs)."

This seems to indicate a possible change from GM Ryan McDonough's earlier statements that he planned to send Brown overseas for a year or two.  While that certainly remains an option, the Suns at least seem to be more willing to let Brown earn a spot this year, depending on his performance in Summer League and training camp.

Naturally, Brown seems excited with the prospect of making the Phoenix Suns' roster.  What seemed like a long shot just a few weeks ago, now seems like a real possibility.

When asked what sets him apart from other players trying to make the roster, Brown answered, "I think being a seven-footer, and having the ability to shoot is probably my biggest asset.  Being able to spread the floor, coming off of pick-and-pops, shooting the three, and still being able to get some rebounds and blocks."

Again, that is exactly what the doctor ordered for Phoenix.  But can he deliver?

What does he need to prove?

Alec also showed that he understands where he stands as a young, developmental prospect, and the importance of improving certain aspects of his game.  He explained,  "Right now I'm just trying to transition to their defensive style, and the calls...getting stronger obviously, moving laterally, and making sure I'm staying low."

Adding strength will take time..at least a full season or two.  But Alec can certainly make the most of his opportunity by studying the schemes, focusing on defense, and demonstrating a coachable attitude and a willingness to get better.

It's still unknown what the Suns' plans are to replace Frye.  They may already be working on a trade for all we know. However, if Brown's competition is the less-than-appealing free agent market for affordable stretch-bigs--with the likes of Ryan Kelly and Byron Mullens--then Alec Brown may just be able to prove that he is the best choice for the Suns...for now.

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