The Brooklyn Nets are at the halfway point of the regular season, and all four of the team’s rookies have stolen the show at one point or another. Brooklyn chose Cam Thomas with the No. 27 pick in the 2021 draft, and he was the first rookie to take center stage.
On Nov. 20, the 20-year-old out of LSU dropped 46 points for the Long Island Nets. Two nights later, he scored in double digits for the first time in Brooklyn’s 117-112 win over Cleveland. He finished with 11 points (4-of-7 from the field, 2-of-3 from the 3-point line).
Ever since his phenomenal performance in the G League, he hasn’t played in another game for Long Island. Steve Nash saw his value, and Thomas has since developed into an integral player for the Nets.
And because of the way that he’s played in recent games, Thomas entered the top-10 of the NBA’s rookie ladder for the first time.
Brooklyn Nets forward Cam Thomas jumps to No. 10 in NBA’s rookie ladder.
Thomas is averaging 7.7 points and 2.5 rebounds in the 31 games that he’s played in. He’s shooting 43% from the field and has scored in double-digits 13 times.
According to NBA.com, Thomas “makes the most of uncertain minutes in Brooklyn’s rotation, including the game-winner on Sunday.”
Against San Antonio, he knocked down a go-ahead floater with 1.4 seconds left to play in overtime to give the Nets the 121-119 win.
The best part about Thomas’ game-winner is that Kevin Durant felt confident enough in the rookie to pass the ball to him after being double-teamed. That’s high praise from one of the best players in the history of the game of basketball.
Thomas scored a career-high 21 points against Portland on Jan. 10 and then did so again versus Oklahoma City on Jan. 13 (a day after the updated rankings were released). Against New Orleans on Jan. 15, he shot 9-of-13 from the field (69.2%) and scored 20 points.
Based on the impact that Thomas has had on Brooklyn, it makes sense that he’s crept his way into the top-10. However, does he deserve to be higher?
After looking at who he’s behind, we believe that Thomas is in the right spot. In the team’s last four games, he averaged 16 points and 2.75 rebounds and because of that, he’s in a good position to make his way up the list, especially if his play continues to trend upwards.
Thomas is without a doubt in the best situation in comparison to the other rookies around the league. He gets to learn under veterans like Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving. What could be better for a player that’s looking to grow and develop?