|2008 NBA Draft||NBA||Drafted 12th overall by Sacramento.|
|8th July, 2008||NBA||Signed four year, $9,109,044 rookie scale contract with Sacramento. Included team options for 2010/11 and 2011/12.|
|25th October, 2009||NBA||Sacramento exercised 2010/11 team option.|
|26th October, 2010||NBA||Sacramento exercised 2011/12 team option.|
|12th July, 2012||NBA||Re-signed by Sacramento to a partially guaranteed five year, $30,187,500 contract.|
|9th July, 2015||NBA||Traded by Sacramento, along with Carl Landry, Nik Stauskas, the right to swap 2016 first round picks (not exercised), the right to swap 2017 first round picks (exercised; Philadelphia moved from #5 and De'Aaron Fox to #3 and Jayson Tatum) and a future protected first round pick to Philadelphia in exchange for the draft rights to Arturas Gudaitis (#47, 2015) and the draft rights to Luka Mitrovic (#60, 2015).|
|31st July, 2015||NBA||Traded by Philadelphia to Golden State in exchange for Gerald Wallace, cash, and the right to swap the least favourable of their 2016 first round picks (not exercised).|
|22nd February, 2016||NBA||Waived by Golden State.|
|1st March, 2016||NBA||Signed a guaranteed minimum salary contract for the remainder of the season with Toronto.|
|30th August, 2016||China||Signed a one year contract with Shandong Flaming Bulls.|
|2004 - 2008||Rider (NCAA)|
|June 2008 - July 2015||Sacramento Kings (NBA)|
|July 2015||Philadelphia 76ers (NBA)|
|July 2015 - February 2016||Golden State Warriors (NBA)|
|March 2016 - June 2016||Toronto Raptors (NBA)|
|August 2016 - present||Shandong Bulls (China)|
January 14, 2014
Six years into his NBA career, Jason Thompson has turned himself into a versatile, talented, and productive veteran. The one-time surprise of a lottery pick has forged a career as a steady veteran on a team so permanently starved of them. And despite the turmoil around him, Thompson has been one of the few constants of the ever-shifting Sacramento Kings, a team where no one has ever really known what was going on.
It has been at times an inconsistent road, with the occasional bump to be found. Perpetually beset by foul problems born out of his aggressiveness, Thompson has also at various times been subject to competition - by Mikki Moore, by Thomas Robinson, by Patrick Patterson, by Ike Diogu, by Drew Gooden, by Kenny Thomas, by Sean May, and twice by Carl Landry. Nevertheless, Thompson has outlasted all challengers, and has been a starter for most of his career.
Now, though, Thompson has hit a new crossroads. In the midst of his career worst season (an 11.5 PER against a career average of 14.3), Thompson is struggling to find a role, an odd but true thing to say of a player who has been one of the NBA's best role players the previous five seasons. As the Kings have stabilised under the new ownership, management and coaching regimes, Thompson's career has become destabilised. He is now the odd man out.
Thompson's mainstay to date has been points in the paint, and any jumpshots in his game have been secondary to this primary offensive weapon. Thompson has developed his post game to the point that he can make moves over either shoulder and finish sufficiently with both hands, in addition to a reasonable mid-range baseline jumper and some dribble drives. Further combined with good rebounding effort and position, and acceptable if foul prone defense at the power forward spot, Thompson contributes sufficiently on both ends of the court, and is a productive scorer in the paint, an increasingly rare skill to have.
However, a downside to DeMarcus Cousins' break-out season has been the impact it has had on Thompson's play. This season marks the occasion that Cousins has finally taken the hint, and almost exclusively played in the post - not coincidentally, this has led to huge spikes in his overall scoring output and his efficiency. Yet nailing Cousins to the low block pushes Thompson away from it, and thus away from his strengths. Thompson has found it difficult to get looks - his efficiency is in line with hiis career averages, but Thompson's scoring opportunities are way down, an inevitable situation for a player no longer taking the shots he calls his own.
Furthermore, despite the good play from the Kings' other two primary scorers, Isaiah Thomas and Rudy Gay (whose career in Sacramento is off to a surprisingly fantastic start), neither is known for their consistent creation of open looks for others. Thomas can do it, but would rather not, preferring to be a score first player. The two guard combination of Marcus Thornton and Ben McLemore most certainly are not playmakers for others. And Thompson, as the fifth starter, is the one who loses out.
Thompson's career to date has been confused, stagnated and sacrificial. He is good, and the Kings know it, but they have nonetheless always sought more. They are perfectly justified in wanting to seek more, for in Thompson, we are talking about a fringe starter or quality backup. But doing so has adverse affects on Thompson's own career - no one thrives as the fall guy.
Nevertheless, despite it all, Thompson has stayed committed, stayed in shape, continued to develop his game, and tried to adapt it to suit the team's needs. He has tried to become the Malik Allen-style mid-range shooter they need, he has tried defending the center spot, he has tried being the third big. He consistently tries and fairly consistently succeeds.
Versatility, skill, good temperament, sacrifice, perfectly palatable contract. You could not ask for more from a role player. The Kings need quality role players, as much as anyone and more than most. It follows, then, that Thompson is the kind of player to keep.
However, they might not. And there is logic to support it. As capable of a role player as Thompson is, it is seen above that he is not the perfect fit for Sacramento that he could be for another team. The Kings require an athletic rim-protecting mid-range shooting power forward to compliment the grounded interior play of Cousins - ideally, they require the next Serge Ibaka (or indeed the actual Serge Ibaka). Thompson is not this. Carl Landry is not entirely this player, either, yet he brings the range and athleticism that Thompson does not, making him a better fit. And while Landry is yet to play this season due to injury, he will return one day - until that time, Derrick Williams could use the minutes to audition and develop, while Quincy Acy is a decent role player himself, bringing athleticism, toughness and efficiency from the deeper parts of the bench. Thompson, then, is a very good candidate to be moved.
Jason Thompson helps any team he is on, playing a position not readily filled, with an adaptable skillset and no attitude concerns. But he is on the one team where he cannot help that much. With his value still somewhat high and his contract sufficiently cheap, competitors should bid on him come the deadline. And they surely will.
December 11, 2013
On the most basic level, the Sacramento Kings needed more talent. They now have that. Even after years of mismanagement and the frivolous burning of assets, Sacramento now has, you would think, a core five. Isaiah Thomas, one of the draft steals of the decade and a man who thoroughly outplayed Vasquez thus far this season, is the point guard. Preconceptions that small score-first guards must come of the bench should be disposed of, because Thomas is a legitimate starter. Rookie Ben McLemore has had a slow first month, but has plenty of time on his side to be the two guard of the future while Gay slots in at small forward. Derrick Williams is thriving since his trade from Minnesota, now that he is finally functioning as a full time power forward. DeMarcus Cousins is tied into a maximum contract extension, the certified core piece going forward. Marcus Thornton, Jason Thompson and Carl Landry compliment this lineup from the bench with quality role player production, creating a front eight of players that any team could use.