Cam Thomas can fill (a quantity of of) the Nets’ Kyrie Irving void

Cam Thomas

Cam Thomas
photograph: AP

One man’s trash being one other man’s treasure has by no means meant larger than it has with regard to Brooklyn Nets combo guard Cam Thomas. finally after Irving threw the Nets into the dumpster bin and demanded a commerce, he sat as a consequence of “calf soreness,” which has flip into the NBA’s go-to evaluation for healthful gamers who want the night off for unspecified causes. In his stead, the Nets turned to a mannequin new bucket service provider in Thomas, whose forty 4 factors in solely 23 pictures had been essential to a depleted Nets group’s one hundred twenty five-123 comeback win over the Washington Wizards.

Unsurprisingly, Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reported Sunday morning that that the Nets will sideline Irving indefinitely as they scrape the underside of the barrel for suitors who can current pennies on the greenback for Irving by the Feb. 9 commerce deadline. inside the meantime, with Durant rehabbing, Irving souring on the commerce block and the cylinder giving Simmons trypophobia, the Nets lineup has pictures that ought to be redistributed and Thomas is seizing the second.

Thomas’ efficiency in direction of the Wizards was a reminder of why the Nets drafted the then-LSU freshman inside the major spherical of the 2021 Draft. Thomas’ credentials as a preternatural bucket getter are undisputed. As a highschool junior, he walked out of Nike’s EYBL circuit as their Offensive participant of the 12 months, then led all freshmen in scoring all by his freshman 12 months at LSU.

An undervalued weapon

Thomas’ confidence in his personal talents haven’t always been matched by his place on the Nets hierarchy. Thomas has felt underutilized on the Nets up to now, going up to now as to change his Instagram bio to #FreeCT after Steve Nash was canned in early November. Thomas’ infamous eyeroll on the mere level out of Nash’s suggestions pertaining to him inside the hunt for teammates all by a summer time league postgame interview was the canary inside the coal mine.

Thomas hasn’t earned his ticket off the bench but, however a quantity of repeat performances of what he did on Sunday might depart the Nets with out a various. At 6-foot-4, Thomas has good measurement, however he can lose deal with protection, a precedence for a group that’s re-dedicated itself to the defensive finish since Vaughn took over from Nash. At one level in Saturday’s Wizards win, Vaughn needed to current Thomas defensive adjustments all by a major quarter timeout, however when he can pour in buckets on the prolific cost he has a propensity to showcase occasionally, Brooklyn might ought to discover a method to make it work.

Edmond Sumner held down Irving’s traditional spot inside the lineup by posting his personal profession-extreme 29 factors, however Thomas’ rivals for Irving’s minutes is a profession reserve who tore his Achilles tendon simply 17 months in the past. Thomas’ 5 assists on Saturday had been a complement to his case for a starting function after he developed a fame for being a one-dimensional, ball-dominant guard who wore the leather-based out inside the hunt for his personal shot. His forty p.c discipline objective proportion and 1-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio all by his lone season at LSU backed up these critiques.

Irving’s absence is one other reminder of the commerce deadline’s butterfly outcomes. The subtraction of a vital roster piece can create a area of curiosity for a youthful participant to lastly unfold his wings. Over on the Wizards’ frontcourt, Deni Avdija is flourishing for the major time since he was drafted ninth general in 2020. placing aside a horrendous capturing night on the major half of Washington’s again-to-again, Avdija has logged profession highs in factors twice since Rui Hachimura was traded to the Lakers on Jan. 24. the subsequent few weeks are going to be rife with roster reconfigurations throughout the league as a end result of the annual commerce deadline reset begins.

in the meantime, Thomas has a quantity of video games left to make a push for extra minutes, earlier than a doable deadline commerce for Russell Westbrook crowds the backcourt rotation. Thomas acknowledged as Irving his “brother” in his postgame presser, however when he will get extra alternatives, he gained’t thoughts the advantages that stem from his bro’s absence.


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