Going into the 2023-24 season, it was less clear what role Cam Thomas would play with the Brooklyn Nets. Thomas looked like an unstoppable scoring force for a while last season, but he didn’t do much else and struggled thereafter, leading to his eventual exclusion from the rotation. But in the Nets’ season opener, Thomas proved he was no fluke. He scored 36 points on his efficient shooting in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers and earned himself a starting spot in the next game against the Dallas Mavericks while Nicholas Claxton nursed an injury.
Thomas may stay with the Nets forever. The 22-year-old guard scored 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting against the Mavericks, leading the Nets in scoring despite another tough loss. However, the young combo guard is already putting up Michael Jordan-esque numbers after another scoring outburst, albeit in a very small sample size.
According to StatMuse, Cam Thomas is now average highest score Starters have averaged 32.6 points per game over the past 40 seasons (minimum 5 games). By comparison, Jordan averaged 30.5 points per game in his career as a starter (but he averaged 1,039 points per game as a starter, 1,032 more than Thomas).
There’s no doubt that no one will mistake the Nets guard for Michael Jordan anytime soon. However, that just gives us a glimpse of Thomas’ performance every time the Nets get the ball in his hands. Chances are, he’ll pop up every time the Nets coaching staff trusts the 22-year-old guard to go to work.
However, the Nets have lost their first two games despite Cam Thomas’ performance, and there’s reason to wonder if head coach Jacques Vaughn will ultimately put a shorter leash on the freshman guard. Even if Thomas misses two key three-pointers at critical moments in two consecutive games, this may be a mistake. Few teams have a scorer as efficient as Thomas. He draws fouls at a high rate and his mid-range jumper is silky smooth. In addition, his dribbling skills allow him to create a lot of space and fire at the opponent’s defense.
But now, Thomas can rest easy knowing he’s doing his part — at least offensively — to keep the Nets competitive despite losing two games.