Cam Thomas once again showed he can be turn a game Thursday when after being inserted with 4:12 left in the first quarter, he scored 10 quick points to give the Nets some life. While the debate about his value as a starter continues among fans and pundits, Thomas remains a bucket-getter with few comparisons among the league’s young players.
Zion Olojede and Kameron Hay of Complex.com this week decided to rank the top young players in the NBA — 24 for 2024 — and put Thomas at No. 19, sandwiched between Evan Mobley at 18 and Jaden McDaniels at 20 and ahead of Keegan Murray of Sacramento, Jalen Green of Houston, Devin Vassell of San Antonio and Jaime Vaquez Jr. of Miami. Heady company for sure but Olojede and Hay are all-in on Thomas even with his inconsistent minutes and the Nets’ uncertainty about his role.
Cam Thomas could be higher on this list but his career has been hampered by inconsistent minutes from a former championship contender and now rebuilding team in the Brooklyn Nets. There’s not many names on this list that can even come close to having three straight 40-point games in a week. He’s capable of averaging 27 points per game in a season if he’s given the keys to an offense for a season but we just haven’t seen the opportunity come yet. Yes, he can be better on the defensive end but when you have the special scoring ability he has, you have to let him cook.
After his 24-point performance in Paris, the 22-year-old is averaging 20.5 points a game on 44/33/84 shooting splits. That puts him 41st in the NBA this season. Only two players ahead of him on the scorers’ list are younger: Paolo Banchero of Orlando and Alperen Senjun of Houston are younger.
Of course, there’s never unanimity about the 6’3” guard. Hoopshype recently published its 25 under 25 and he didn’t make an appearance on that list.
Will Thomas return to the starting unit with the Nets offense struggling (and we’re being kind?) We shall soon see because something has to change ... and fast.
- The 24 Best NBA Players Under 24 (2024) - Zion Olojede and Kameron Hay - Complex.com