2. Scoring isn’t everything
When evaluating talent, sure, scoring is as big, if not bigger than any stat. But you also have to look at other ways players impact the game, if there’s any impact at all. Despite being a spectacular scorer, Thomas doesn’t excel (or even lacks) in any other departments. He’s averaged 3.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists, showing that he isn’t much of a passer and lacks the incentive to do the little to help the Nets win.
When looking at defensive efficiency, Thomas ranks 237th in defensive win shares (0.047), an absurdly low number for someone getting just over 34 minutes per game, after you take into account the guard leaving Wednesday’s win over the Clippers due to injury.
At 4-4, however, the Nets certainly need and appreciate Thomas’s scoring. The team has plenty of defensive weapons, such as Mikal Bridges, Ben Simmons, and Nic Claxton. All of those players are elite on the other side of the ball, with Bridges averaging just over 20 points and Simmons running the floor, being a pass-first player who still has a little nasty to him.