Nets Urged to Take Drastic Measure With Former First-Round Pick

Brooklyn Nets

Getty Head coach Jacque Vaughn of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during game play.

Another night, another win for the Brooklyn Nets (24-12). This one, a 139-103 romp over the tanking San Antonio Spurs was keyed by 52 combined points from Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving who only needed to play 28 minutes apiece in this one.

The rest of the heavy lifting was done by the usual hodgepodge of supporting cast members with starter Ben Simmons, fill-in starter Seth Curry, and T.J. Warren all scoring double-figures.

They also got sharpshooter Joe Harris back into the mix after a four-game absence.

One player they didn’t need, and have not necessarily needed for some time, is second-year guard Cam Thomas, the 27th overall pick in the 2021 NBA. Thomas’ playing time has come sparingly as the team has gotten healthier and, with the roll that they are on, they might get better use out of him in other ways.

Nets Should Move Cam Thomas

“The Nets could still use a little more size,” writes Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey, “preferably someone who can protect the rim a bit. And while Cam Thomas probably hasn’t shown enough to be exchanged for a proven shot blocker, he may be worth a ‘flier for flier’ type of deal.”

Thomas is averaging just 4.3 points on 48.1% true shooting in 10 minutes per game since November 17 after seven straight contests in which he saw over 20 minutes in each game. He had nine points two assists, and two rebounds against the Spurs in 12 minutes all coming in the extended garbage time of the fourth quarter.

The former LSU standout has voiced frustration over his lack of playing time before.

Ain’t had no conversations [with then-coach Steve Nash],” Thomas said per Ethan Sears of the New York Post following a DNP against the Dallas Mavericks in October. “Just not playing at the moment…It is what it is.”

It is not a matter of talent. Thomas scored a season-high 33 points in the Nets’ 136-133 win over the Indiana Pacers on December 10.

“It’s an interesting task for him and challenge for him,” Jacque Vaughn said after that game, per Net Income and Nets Daily. “Just because I thought as a group…everyone was like Cam’s gotta score 30 for us in this game for us to have a chance to win. And it happened. You go into Washington…and Cam’s probably not going to have 30. So now, what does that first and second possession look like for him?”

Thomas has appeared in four of the Nets’ seven games since going 1-for-4 from the floor for five points in 19 minutes against the Wizards and has surpassed five minutes just once in that span.

And, with the starters rolling, a move at the bottom of the roster appears more likely.

“Breaking up the starting lineup feels like a pretty silly idea,” Bailey continues nodding to the Nets’ turmoil earlier this season. “Perhaps some other team might be intrigued by Thomas’ 36.7 three-point percentage and has a young big who’s struggling to crack the rotation.”

Nets Patrolling For Paint Protectors

The calls for the Nets to find another big man are growing louder and more frequent. Part of it is the lack of reliable depth behind breakout starter Nic Claxton who currently leads the league in field goal percentage and is averaging 2.5 blocks per game.

His offensive skillset is also limited, however, as is that of his backup and fellow youngster Day’ron Sharpe as well as Simmons who has also filled the role this year.

Brooklyn has been linked to big men like Orlando Magic big man Mo Bamba and Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers. They have also been linked to forwards such as John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Maverick stretch-4 Christian Wood, both of whom would fit well next to Claxton.

Perhaps a package with Thomas and Sharpe can net them something of value.

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