It may only be preseason, but Cameron Thomas’s professional career is off to a roaring start.
Thomas, taken 27th overall by the Brooklyn Nets, was named co-Summer League MVP—sharing the honor with Davion Mitchell of the Sacramento Kings— after an outstanding showing in Las Vegas where he showed off his scoring prowess we saw in Baton Rouge.
Thomas averaged 27 points in Vegas, the second highest figure in the history of the NBA’s Summer League event. His time in Vegas was highlighted by a Summer League-high 36 points game in a win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.
He also hit a game winning three that barely beat the shot clock in a wild double overtime against the Washington Wizards.
CAM THOMAS ONE-LEGGED GAME-WINNER pic.twitter.com/W9jmuMb6TQ— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 12, 2021
He scored 31 in that game by the way, our man remains a bucket. Basically Thomas did in Summer League what he did at LSU: create shots off the dribble, create space for himself with nasty step backs, and fill it up from any and everywhere. And 26 dummies known as NBA GMs passed on the second coming of Kobe Bryant.
Thomas’s first official NBA game will be opening night of the 2021-2022 season as the Nets take on the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks on October 19. The Nets will also play the Lakers on Christmas Day which, for those of you who don’t keep up with the NBA, is the unofficial/official start of the season.
Thomas wasn’t the only former Tiger showing off his skills in Las Vegas, six former LSU players all competed.
Javonte Smart played five games for the Miami Heat and averaged 5.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. Jarell Martin is attempting to revive his NBA career and played for the Utah Jazz. In four games, Martin averaged 7.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists. Martin had an awesome game against the Philadelphia 76ers where he put up 23 points, 12 boards, 4 assists and 4 steals. After spending four years in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies and Orlando Magic, Martin spent the 2020 and 2021 seasons in both the NBA G-League and with the Sydney Kings in the Australian National Basketball League.
JARR3LL!— utahjazz (@utahjazz) August 17, 2021
He's up to 21 points against the Sixers. pic.twitter.com/Gdkrs5nuEx
Speaking of NBA comebacks, Antonio Blakeney is with the Portland Trailblazers along with Trendon Watford who signed a two-way deal with the club. Blakeney averaged 17 points in five games while Watford only played four and averaged 5.8 points and 4.5 rebounds. Watford also flashed some his playmaking ability and averaged 2.0 assists. Blakeney played two years with the Chicago Bulls before spending the 2019-20 season in China where he averaged 34 points. Last season Blakeney was in the G-League with the Cleveland Cavaliers affiliate.
Portland’s final game of Summer League was against the Houston Rockets who recently acquired Tremont Waters. Waters was not offered a second contract offer by the Boston Celtics and joined up with Houston for the team’s final two games in Vegas. In those games Waters posted 4.5/5.5/4.5 splits. Waters was the G-League’s rookie of the year in 2020.
Skylar Mays looks to improve off his first season with the upstart Atlanta Hawks, and was one of the stands out in Vegas with averages of 18.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assists. Mays didn’t make the All-Summer League team but had as good a case as anyone.