Cam Thomas was the 27th overall pick in this year’s draft, but when you look at his Summer League performance thus far, it leaves many people questioning how he slipped so far into the draft.
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Thomas is averaging 27.0 points per game so far in the Summer League, which leads all participants.
The crazy thing about that is that it’s not just rookies that play in the Summer League. Vets like Michael Beasley have been playing in those games thus far.
Thomas has a bunch of confidence, as he even said himself that confidence is his “best friend.” However, that may have worked to his disadvantage when going through the draft process.
“What I think was a little bit of a turnoff for certain teams is that there’s a certain sense of confidence, maybe overconfidence, maybe a certain sense of arrogance,” Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks said of Thomas.
While there’s a fine line between being confident and arrogant, it’s always better to lean towards the more confident side because if you don’t believe in your own ability, no one else will, and there will be 450 other players around the world ready to take your spot if you don’t bring it.
Who will take the 🏆 pic.twitter.com/ipPcI18dJW
— NBA Summer League (@NBASummerLeague) August 17, 2021
So far, Thomas has more than brought it. In the Summer League, he displayed an excellent knack for scoring the ball in the mid-range, particularly on the pull-up jumper.
Thomas idolizes Kobe Bryant, and when you take a look at some film, you can tell he’s picked up a thing or two from the legendary player. Thomas will obviously have a long way to go to reach that level, but nothing’s impossible.
Wrapping Things Up
In addition to his shooting abilities, Thomas proved that he can be clutch when the game is tight, as he nailed a stepback 3-pointer in the Nets’ win over the San Antonio Spurs and hit the game-winning three against the Washington Wizards in double-overtime, as they were in a sudden-death situation.
Thomas displayed that he can be an excellent scorer, but on a team with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden, he is going to have to learn to be an off-ball player and hit open threes on the catch and shoot.
Additionally, he needs to improve his defense and playmaking skills, as both skills are vital to the success of elite point guards in the NBA.
If his playmaking and defense don’t improve, however, then he’ll still likely have a place in the league, so long as he plays within the confines of a team and not himself.
Worst case scenario is that he can turn out to be a Lou Williams or Jordan Clarkson type, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Every good team needs a good bench with a perennial Sixth Man of the Year candidate leading that group, and Thomas has all the potential to do just that.
If Thomas puts in the work, there is no reason why he can’t eventually establish himself as a premier scorer in the league for years to come.