The Nets are close to a deal with ex-Knick Lance Thomas, per SNY sources. Brooklyn currently has 13 players on its roster, including recent additions of Jamal Crawford, Michael Beasley and Donta Hall.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 12, 2020
Brian Lewis later confirmed that Thomas and the Nets are in talks.
On the Nets daily Zoom call with reporters, Jacque Vaughn declined comment on a Thomas signing or anything else that might else might be in the wind...
Jacque Vaughn couldn’t comment on Lance Thomas report. Asked if they’ve had anybody fail a coronavirus test, opt-out or get hurt. He replied “I’m not going to mess with a HIPPA violation,” but says “we’re going to have a team.” #Nets— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) July 12, 2020
Jacque Vaughn spent the pandemic working on possible tweaks to the Nets system, but admitted that the amount of opt-outs drastically altered that plan. Said a lot of that was personnel-tailored and now can't be used.— Alex Schiffer (@Alex__Schiffer) July 12, 2020
The 6’8”, 32-year-old Thomas would be the fourth and final substitute player signed by Brooklyn. Like Jamal Crawford and Michael Beasley, Thomas has not played this season, having been cut by the Nets back on October 18. Thomas and Beasley played together for the Knicks in 2017-18 when Thomas was the Knicks captain. The two are close. Thomas’ pinned tweet on his Twitter feed, @MrLance42, is a 2018 birthday greeting to Beasley.
Initially, reports had Nets signing Justin Anderson of the Long Island Nets to a substitute deal but in recent days, the team has been closed-mouth about Anderson’s prospects. There’s been no word on why Anderson has not signed.
This would be the Brooklyn-born Thomas’ third stint with the Nets organization. He was a member of the Nets’ training camp roster his season but played sparingly and was waived at the end of preseason. Back in 2010, Thomas played for the Nets’ Summer League squad after going undrafted. He was cut during the team’s training camp and instead signed with the Hornets and established himself as a solid contributor both on and off the court. Then, in May 2014, he was invited to a Nets mini-camp but not signed.
In his eight-year NBA career, he’s averaged 5.2 points and 2.6 rebounds primarily as a reliable 3-and-D role player. Over the course of his career, he’s shot 38.3 percent from deep, topping 40 percent three times.
The 31-year-old was the longest serving Knick player before being waived on June 29 of last year, ironically to save a million dollars in salary cap space for New York’s pursuit of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
If he’s signed by the Nets, he will have to travel to Orlando, undergo testing and a six-game quarantine before being permitted on the court. The Nets first scrimmage is in 10 days vs. the Pelicans.
- Nets close to deal with veteran forward Lance Thomas - Alex Smith - SNY
- Nets in talks with ex-Knick Lance Thomas to join NBA restart roster - Brian Lewis - New York Post