Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks and his front office may have not hit any home runs during this offseason, but they did make several key additions to their roster. Some of those additions include LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap, and Patty Mills who will surely add to the depth of their roster.
Another pleasant surprise for the Nets this offseason was Cam Thomas, their first-round draft pick out of Louisiana State University. Thomas was the 27th selection by the Nets in the 2021 NBA Draft. He led all NBA Summer League scorers in points per game with 27.0, to go along with 1.8 rebounds, and 2.0 assists. Thomas was rewarded with an All-Summer League First Team selection as well as Summer League Co-MVP honors with Sacramento Kings first-round pick Davion Mitchell.
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Steve Nash Says Nets Rookies Could See Limited Minutes
Despite an impressive showing in this year’s NBA Summer League Nets head coach Steve Nash says that Thomas along with the rest of the Nets’ rookies should be prepared to play limited minutes. This is due to the surplus of talent they have on the roster.
“It’s a tough team to break into, so some of these rookies have their work cut out for them if they’re going to get in the rotation for sure. But that’s a great challenge for them,” Nash said during a press conference on Tuesday per NetsDaily.
“The guys have been in the gym a lot for a few weeks now, and that’s positive. They worked hard. I think we see NBA players in them, and it’s just a matter of developing them all.”
Nash, a Hall of Famer came into the league as one of the most highly coveted rookie point guards in the 1996 NBA Draft. Still, he had to earn every single minute of his floor time in his rookie year. The Nets head coach expects much of the same from Brooklyn’s 2021 draft class.
“I was a 15th pick who only played my rookie year when KJ (Suns star Kevin Johnson) was injured. It’s not how you start; it’s how you get there. That’s what I definitely have preached to some of our rookies already,” Nash continued.
“You’ve got to play the long game, and whether you crack the rotation or not, whether you don’t play a minute or spend some time in the G League, it’s important to think long-term and not give away days. If you have that mentality and attitude, this will be a very productive year for you whether you play or don’t play.”
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Cam Thomas Ready to Contribute for Nets
Playing among some of the league’s brightest stars in James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant, minutes will come at a premium for rookies like Thomas. But in the grand scheme of things having the opportunity to play behind three of the league’s best, presents a tremendous learning opportunity. One that Thomas says he is looking forward to.
“I just want to come in and learn as much as possible so I can contribute right away, whether that’s right away or later in the season — whenever my name is called,” said Thomas after his Summer League debut per NBA.com.
“So, I just want to learn from those guys and have them coach me up and teach me as much as they can so I can have the ability to contribute whenever my name is called. So hopefully it’s at the beginning of the year, but if it’s later, I just want to do my job to be ready.”
After a standout summer, Thomas has already shown that he is ready to leap into the NBA. With the chance to learn from all-world scorers in Harden, Durant, and Irving, he could end up being one of the top guys in his draft class when it is all said and done.