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NBA

The Immense Scoring Potential of Cam Thomas

Jaw Dropping comparissons.

Cameron Thomas posted a very impressive 7 OBPM and a very scary -0.8 DBPM. Here are prospects with similar stats:

  1. Alec  Burks as a Freshman, former  12th pick
  2. CJ McCollum as a Freshman, former  10th pick
  3. Damian Lillard as a Freshman, former 6th pick
  4. Doug McDermott as a Sophomore, former 11th pick

Right off the bat, very encounraging stuff, two of the players are All Star caliber players, and two are solid rotation players. All selected in the lottery.

Defensive Metrics

Thomas posted a DBPM of -0.8 defensive rebound rate of 8, steal rate of 1.4, block rate of 0.7. First rounders with similar metrics:

  1. Sophomore Jerome Robison former 14th pick
  2. Freshman Shabazz Mohammad former 14th pick
  3. Freshman Malachi Flynn former 29th pick

Based on these three players, it is highly unlikely that Thomas becomes an plus defender in the NBA. His measurements, and tape back this assessment up as well.

Will the he be able to space the Floor?

Thomas posted a FT% of 88, a free throw rate of 44, both are absolutely monster numbers, three point percentage of 33 and usage of around 32, a very high mark, especially for a freshman. Here are some prospects from the past that posted similar numbers and its very encouraging:

  1. Freshman Trae Young , former 5th pick, career 34% from 3 on immense range and volume
  2. Sophomore CJ McCollum, former 10th pick, career 40% from 3
  3. Sophomore Ja Morant, former 2nd pick, only 32% from 3, but still developing

Three players, all three potential all stars, two players who are building foundations of their franchise.  Thomas is not the athlete that Ja is, nor is he the shooter that Trae is, but he could be the second coming of CJ McCollum, just stronger and better at getting to the line, more shifted towards the 3 than the 2. Judging by these numbers, Cam Thomas should be an elite floor spacer, when you consider the volume, range and percentage.

Creation for Others

Thomas has a bad, below 1 assist to turnover ration, his usage was an immense 30+%  and his assist% is only a meager 8%.   When we put all that into account, here are some players who were first rounders of previous NBA drafts.

  1. CJ McCollum, former 10th pick in the draft, peaked at 4.7 assists per game, had a higher asst%
  2. OJ Mayo former 3rd pick, peaked at 4.4 assists per game

Again, very good company to be around. While both of them, CJ and OJ, had greater assist% than Cam has, their improvement shows that we can expect Cam to progress towards 3 assists per game, and a positive asst/to ratio.

Scoring Volume

Thomas is one of those guards who can score from everywhere on the court as the late Kobe did for example. He  posted a FT rate of 44, FT% of 88%, 11.7 3pt field goal attempts per 100 possessions and a pt field goal percentage of 33%. He also took 10 2pts per game and made 47% of them. Let’s try and find some statistical clones from the past:

  1. Freshman Trae Young former 5th pick, peaked at 29.5 PPG, still developing
  2. Sophomore Nik Stauskas former top 10 pick, peaked at 9 PPG
  3. Freshman Eric Gordon former 7th pick, peaked at 22 PPG
  4. Sophomore Damian Lillard Former 6th Pick, peaked at 30 PPG, one of the greatest shot makers of all time

Apart from Stauskas, elite company. There is , based on these numbers, quite the high chance that Cam Thomas, if he avoids injuries and works as hard as Dame does , for example, could be a guy who gets you 25 every night, or even more.

Summary

He is a monster scoring prospect. Just on the scoring alone he should go into the lottery, and to be fair, there isn’t a lot of upside anywhere else. But with Thomas you have a player who could be an elite scorer on and off the ball. While there is little upside to his defense, he could be a decent passer, just by the immense scoring gravity he will command if he develops right. And the range, the volume, the high percentages are indicators that he, and not Jalen Green or James Bouknight could be the best scorer in this draft.

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