Evaluating Nets Rookie Cameron Thomas

The Brooklyn Nets selected Cameron Thomas with the 27th pick last July and so far he has looked great. It’s rare that a team already in contention can add any impactful rookies, but the Nets have done just that. Thomas absolutely lit up the summer league in Las Vegas, ultimately taking home tournament MVP honors. However, the competition at the summer league level is nothing compared to the NBA. Will the rookie Thomas play an important role for the Nets this season? If so, what role will it be?

Who Is Cameron Thomas?

Cameron Thomas played his high school basketball at Oak Hill Academy, one of the best basketball prep schools in the country. There, he teamed up with current NBA player Cole Anthony and formed one of the most exciting young backcourts in the nation. Thomas led the team in scoring and was a consensus 5-star recruit out of high school. After becoming Oak Hill’s all-time scoring leader, Thomas continued his basketball career at Louisiana State University. Despite success throughout high school and college, he wasn’t a highly scouted prospect for the NBA draft. The Nets snagged him with the 27th pick, and now Thomas looks to contribute in a bench role and maybe even develop into a reliable starter in the future. 

NBA Player Comparison

The NBA player that Cameron Thomas most resembles is Dion Waiters. Thomas, like Waiters, is a shot-creating combo guard who can also facilitate the pick and roll. However, like Waiters, Thomas will struggle at times with consistency as most young shooting guards do. That is why it’s important for the Nets to unleash Thomas early so that when the playoffs come around, he has a lot more experience under his belt. Additionally, like Waiters, Thomas is a very crafty scorer who doesn’t necessarily wow you with athleticism. Rather, he is an excellent below-the-rim finisher and is much stronger than he looks. Throughout the summer league, Thomas would attack the basket while seeking contact. When in doubt, Thomas would lean towards his bread and butter: the midrange jumper. He is definitely a unique player with untapped potential. 

Role With The Nets

At 6’5″, Cameron Thomas has great size for the backcourt. He’s a certified bucket but struggles at times to impact other areas of the game. Because the Nets already have plenty of offense, it may be hard to find a role right away for Thomas. However, he will most likely have a similar role to what Mike James provided for the Nets last year. James provided instant offense off the bench for short spurts but had the capability to have high-scoring games every now and then. While Thomas is younger and arguably more talented than James, the Nets probably won’t give Thomas any more of a role than what James had. Thomas is still incredibly young and has lots of room for improvement. Luckily for the Nets, Thomas has absurd potential and will become a valuable piece of the puzzle for years to come.

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