Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Executive sends strong message to ‘cocky’ Nets Guard

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The Brooklyn Nets roster appears to be filling up as training camp fast approaches. The team has added a number of players heading into camp such as Markieff Morris, Yuta Watanabe, Chris Chiozza and David Duke Jr. with a variety of contract types. These signings come alongside new signings like Royce O’Neale and TJ Warren and important signings of Nic Claxton and Patty Mills. Joining the signings and acquisitions are Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, who despite all the signs looked like they won’t be back in Brooklyn, making a triumphant return to Atlantic Avenue.

Irving, Durant and recent acquisitions will also join forces with Joe Harris and Ben Simmons, who are expected to be fully healthy and 100% ready for camp after sustained injuries. One of the strengths of pre-season nets is their depth. They’re 2-3 deep in every position and one of the biggest question marks they have is Cam Thomas. Thomas proved he can contribute at the NBA level as he played consistent minutes mid-season to replace injured nets. He’s also lit up Summer League again in an award-winning campaign.

Heavy asked an NBA executive what role he thinks we can expect the guard to play as a sophomore with the Nets next season.

“Really good scorer. He knows he is, that’s part of the problem. He doesn’t know his role, he hasn’t found that out. Volume scoring just isn’t what you need off the bench, a volume shooter. He showed what he can do again in the Summer League, but we all knew that. Can you learn to pass? Can you do plays for others? Can you invest in working on your 3-pointers so you can be an effective scorer in today’s NBA and not just a guy getting on the edge? There’s still a lot to prove, just hope he’s not overconfident,” said the manager.

Thomas went viral for a reaction he had to Steve Nash’s criticism after a big game in the Vegas Summer League where the Nets head coach noted he would like to see more playmaking from the guard. Thomas had a strong summer league showing an ability to create for his teammates. Will he be enough to crack the Nets rotation? Getting minutes last season as the Nets battled injury, he averaged 16.5 and 3 rebounds per game while averaging nearly 27 minutes.

Cam Thomas proved enough with his strong play last season that he was tied to trade rumors throughout the season and even this summer. A coach even revealed to Heavy that his team called about taking over from Thomas.

“We called about him last year. I think almost everyone called him at the close of trading last year if you were looking for young players. He wouldn’t play if they did a finals run if they all had it. So we wanted to give up a veteran and take it back. didn’t happen” an Eastern Conference head coach told Deveney. “He plays with great pace and obviously has a knack for hitting the ball. Pure goalscorer. But they didn’t move it last year, they made that pretty clear. Now it would be even harder to get him off them because they don’t know what’s going to happen next with KD and (Kyrie) Irving. He could be a guy who will get a lot of minutes with them next year, they don’t want to give him away. They don’t want to rebuild, they try not to sell out there. They want to stay in the mix in the East. He can help you with that.”

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