Nets Guard Sends Cryptic Message Hinting at Trade Demand Amid Steve Nash Firing

Cam Thomas, Seth Curry

Getty Cam Thomas and Seth Curry celebrate during a matchup against the New York Knicks.

The Brooklyn Nets selected guard Cam Thomas with the 27th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. It’s not as attractive as a lottery pick, but there have been some star players selected 27th overall. Some household names picked at 27 include 3-time defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert, Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, who was a key in Toronto winning the title in 2019, and Boston Celtics standout Robert Williams, who showed he has a bright future during last year’s playoff run.

Thomas has shown spurts of superstar potential, especially during his head-turning performances in the NBA Summer League. But it hasn’t translated to consistency during the regular season. This season he has played a total of 15 minutes in the Nets’ eight games. In that span, he is averaging 0.7 points and 0.3 assists while shooting a frigid 25% from the field.

After the Nets’ loss to the Chicago Bulls on November 1, Thomas changed his biography on Instagram to feature the phrase “Free CT”. CT, as in the Nets’ guard’s initials. An apparent cry for help to expedite the process of his trade out of Brooklyn.

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Thomas on Lack of Minutes: ‘It Is What It Is’

Thomas is averaging just 4.7 minutes per game this season which is a significant drop off from the 17.6 minutes he averaged in 2021. With the departures of key rotation players Bruce Brown and Goran Dragic during the offseason, many expected that Thomas would see his minutes increase this year and get a chance to make some real noise on this Nets roster.

But it is not only a decrease in minutes that is a head-scratcher for the second-year guard. It is also the fact that there are times he does not play at all. Thomas has been a DNP, coach’s decision in five of the eight games the Nets have played this season.

Before Steve Nash’s firing on November 1, the Nets guard said he and the now ex-Nets head coach did not have any conversations about his lack of playing time.

“Ain’t had no conversations [with coach Steve Nash] Just not playing at the moment,” Thomas said via Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “Very [surprising], It is what it is.”

Teams Wanted to Trade for Thomas Last Season

Per Stat Muse, last season, Thomas averaged 8.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game on 43/27/83 shooting splits. The percentages could be a bit higher, but those improvements will come with repetition the more he plays, which is currently not happening in Brooklyn. But just because his value is low in Brooklyn doesn’t mean it isn’t higher in other places.

One Eastern Conference coach told Heavy’s Sean Deveney that ‘just about everyone’ called the Nets to inquire about Thomas’ availability last season.

“We called about him last year, I think just about everyone called about him at the trade deadline last year if you were looking for young players. He wasn’t going to play if they were gonna make a Finals run if they had everyone. So, we wanted to give up a veteran and take him back. Didn’t happen,” the coach said.

“He plays with great pace, and he has a knack for scoring the ball. Pure scorer. But they were not moving him last year, they made that pretty clear.”

It will be interesting to see if any teams try to make a move for Thomas at this year’s trade deadline.

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