Brooklyn’s Cam Thomas has been named Co-MVP of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, along with earning a spot on the 2021 All-Summer League First Team.
The 19-year-old guard was selected 26th overall by the Nets at the 2021 NBA Draft in July after leading the SEC and all Division I freshman with 23.0 points per game during his single season at LSU.
Thomas led all Summer League scorers with 27.0 points per game, the highest average ever for a player with at least four games played at Summer League. His 36 points against the Spurs on Sunday were the sixth-most ever scored in a Summer League game.
“Cam, he got drafted to score the ball,” said Thomas’ fellow first-rounder, rookie center Day’Ron Sharpe. “You go look at Cam from high school, college, everybody knows Cam’s a scorer. That’s his main trait. When he scores the ball, it’s not even shocking. We were the same draft class, same age, we always saw Cam scoring. He led the EYBL in scoring one year. He’s the all-time leading scorer, like (Carmelo Anthony) at Oak Hill. This man, you know Cam is a natural scorer, so when he got drafted, you know that’s what he came here to do: score the ball.”
Thomas opened Summer League with 19 points against the Grizzlies and climbed the ladder from there: 22 against the Bucks, 31 against the Wizards, and finally 36 against the Spurs before he and Sharpe were held out of the final game against the Raptors on Tuesday, with Brooklyn completing the tournament with a 3-2 record.
Thomas shot 42.3 percent overall and 36.0 percent from 3-point range on 6.3 3-point attempts per game. As he did at LSU, where he led the nation in free throws made last season, Thomas was aggressive and skilled at getting to the rim and drawing fouls. He averaged 8.3 free throws made and 9.8 free throws attempted through his four games, both second among all players.
“Ultimate gamer, young guy, finds a way often, and even just getting to the free throw line when nothing is there, the ability to get to the free throw line,” said Brooklyn Summer League coach Jordan Ott after Thomas hit game-tying and game-winning 3-pointers against Washington. “For a young guy, it's pretty incredible.”
After a brilliant first look, Thomas will turn 20 a week before the Nets tip off the 2021-22 season and he gets rolling on his NBA career for real.
“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 last week. “So I just want to learn from those guys and have them coach them 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.”