Cam Thomas

Nets Notes: Bridges, Dragic, Claxton, Thomas

The Kevin Durant deal that shook up the NBA on the eve of the trade deadline never would have happened if the Suns hadn’t included Mikal Bridges, Nets general manager Sean Marks tells Nick Friedell of ESPN.

Marks had come to the realization that it was time to end the super-team experiment in Brooklyn that brought together Durant, Kyrie Irving and eventually James Harden. Durant was the last of the trio to be moved, and Marks wanted to create the foundation of a young team that could remain competitive while building for the future. The centerpiece of that was Bridges, who has become a star in Brooklyn, averaging 26.1 PPG in 27 games since the trade.

“We knew the end of an era was upon us,” Marks said. “When Kyrie had already moved, the discussions with Phoenix heated up and it became real, like, ‘All right, well, there’s a shift happening here, right? Are we resetting, retooling, rebuilding?’ We were able to come to terms with that knowing that the package we were getting back in return was something that has a clear pathway.

“We’ve never sort of had a group of young guys before that were under contract, proven, healthy and you can see a pathway of, ‘Hey, I can see what this may look like in two, three years from now.’ … Not just Mikal, but all of them, where do they all take their games to? Who’s the next person that takes that leap?”

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • Veteran guard Goran Dragic is the latest player to indicate that there was significant behind-the-scenes turmoil with the Nets, per Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Dragic, who finished last season in Brooklyn, said he had an offer to stay but he chose to sign with the Bulls to get away from the drama. “I could have re-signed with Brooklyn, but I didn’t want to be in that situation, because it was a little bit crazy,” Dragic said. “I just tried to find a team that’s calmer and to be more stable. I thought that would be with Chicago.”
  • Facing Joel Embiid is a difficult matchup for Nic Claxton, so coach Jacque Vaughn wants him to use his speed to his advantage, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Claxton needs to find a way to get some easy baskets after being held scoreless Monday.
  • Vaughn wouldn’t commit to playing Cam Thomas in Game 3, Lewis tweets. The second-year guard wasn’t used at all in Game 2 after seeing four minutes in the series opener. “It’s always at the disposal of someone not getting minutes, and so who is that?” Vaughn asked. “Is that Spencer (Dinwiddie)? Is that Cam Johnson? Is that Mikal Bridges? Everyone is available to play it and in the wheelhouse to be prepared if their number is called.”

Eastern Notes: Hampton, Hart, Thomas, Brown

The Pistons were interested in R.J. Hampton leading up to the 2020 draft and even held an in-person interview with him, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press reports in a subscriber-only story.

Hampton, the 24th pick of that draft, wound up in a Pistons uniform this month after getting waived by Orlando. He played five scoreless minutes in his Detroit debut on Saturday but is glad to join GM Troy Weaver’s club.

“Troy’s a great dude,” the Pistons’ newcomer said. “Somebody that’s real, somebody that expects a lot from his players but also knows what it means to develop young guys. That’s something I look forward to, being in an organization that takes the time with players, takes the time to figure out the areas that they’re really good in and weaknesses and coming together and making it all fit. I think he’s great in that aspect and I’m excited about it.”

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Josh Hart admits he had some trepidation about being traded by Portland to the Knicks, wondering how he’d mesh with coach Tom Thibodeau. Hart has been pleasantly surprised, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News writes. “Coming here I didn’t exactly know how Thibs’ system was. But it worked out,” Hart said. He’s averaging 14.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists with his new team. Hart holds a $12.96MM option on his contract for next season, which he’s expected to turn down.
  • Cam Thomas scored 22 points off the bench for the Nets on Sunday in a loss to the Hawks. Thomas is averaging 26.1 points per game this month but coach Jacque Vaughn says he’ll continue to use Thomas as an instant offense reserve, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets.
  • The Knicks won’t have to deal with the Celtics’ second-leading scorer when the teams square off on Monday. Jaylen Brown is taking the night off for personal reasons, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston tweets.

New York Notes: Rose, Barrett, Bridges, Thomas

Responding to rumors that he’d be pursued by the Suns if he reaches a buyout agreement with the Knicks, point guard Derrick Rose told reporters on Saturday that he hasn’t “talked to anybody” about seeking a buyout.

“I haven’t even thought about it. I’m locked in to my thing right now. It’s kind of hard to think about something that I’ve never pursued and never talked about with them,” Rose said, per Peter Botte of The New York Post. “… Y’all heard something? I’ve just been locked in, doing my recovery. (I) talk to (head coach Tom Thibodeau) about the team, talk to (president) Leon (Rose) about the team, but other than that, I haven’t talked to them about (a buyout).”

Players who are waived on or before March 1 retain their playoff eligibility if they sign with a new team before the end of the regular season, so if Rose is going to be bought out it would probably have to happen in the next few days. However, the former MVP gave no indication that he’ll have a last-minute change of heart, pointing out that family considerations also factor into his desire to remain in New York — his son plays for the Gauchos AAU team in Manhattan, according to Botte.

“Exactly. He loves it over here. I’d probably have to talk it over with him, even before Thibs,” Rose joked.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • After finding himself on the bench during the final eight minutes of a win over Washington on Friday, Knicks wing RJ Barrett bounced back nicely on Saturday, pouring in 25 points in 29 minutes and putting up a season-high seven assists. As Andrew Crane of the New York Post relays, Thibodeau praised Barrett’s play-making and “all-around play,” though he didn’t rule out the possibility of keeping the former No. 3 pick out of closing lineups going forward. “It’s going to be what goes well, but RJ’s obviously a very important part of the team,” Thibodeau said.
  • New Nets forward Mikal Bridges is viewing the trade that sent him from Phoenix to Brooklyn in the most positive possible light, as he tells Marc J. Spears of Andscape. “It’s kind of cool just be part of this and go through that whole trade process,” Bridges said, noting that he has always wanted to try living in New York. “Just midseason going to a whole other team, different concepts, people are different. It’s just a whole other city. It’s kind of cool to me, honestly, just see what you’re made of. I know it’s not easy and I’m not going to be the person that dwells on it and (is) upset about it. I just want to take action.”
  • Nets guard Cam Thomas saw his playing time dip a little after the trade deadline, but he logged 30 minutes in Friday’s loss to Chicago and may be needed to help kickstart Brooklyn’s slumping offense, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Thomas had a team-high 22 points and made 3-of-6 three-pointers.

Nets Notes: Depth, Mills, Thomas, Drummond

The NetsKevin Durant and Kyrie Irving trades earlier this month significantly reduced the team’s star power but have created a deeper roster, resulting in difficult decisions for head coach Jacque Vaughn, as Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post writes.

With Seth Curry back in action on Wednesday following a five-game absence due to a left adductor strain, the Vaughn and the Nets employed a 10-man rotation that left out a couple players who have had regular roles for much of the season. As Sanchez writes, there was no room in that 10-man rotation for Edmond Sumner or Yuta Watanabe in addition to Day’Ron Sharpe or Patty Mills.

Vaughn is happy to use 10 of the Nets’ 14 players (not counting two-ways) for the time being, but expects to tighten the rotation further this spring.

“We’re playing 10 guys right now,” Vaughn said on Wednesday. “Eventually that’s going to whittle down to nine or eight as you get into the playoffs, but I think that’s the biggest thing is being able to utilize the depth.”

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Although he’s one of the odd men out of the Nets’ new rotation, Mills said he likes the look of the roster in the wake of the trade deadline and remains confident in the team’s chances to make the playoffs. In a conversation with Ian Begley of, the veteran guard made multiple references to the character of the locker room and the off-court bonds between Nets players. “Genuinely, you look around the room and we’ve just got really solid dudes,” Mills said. “(Potential) friendships, (where) you can talk and you can go outside of the basketball court, which I think at the end of the day makes a real impact on what we can do on the court.”
  • Given the opportunity to take on a larger role, Nets guard Cam Thomas scored 134 points in a three-game span earlier this month, but he has seen his minutes dip again within the last week, averaging just 19.8 MPG in Brooklyn’s last three games. Thomas, who expressed frustration with his limited playing time early in the season, doesn’t sound thrilled about once again taking a step back, Sanchez writes for The New York Post. “It’s tough,” Thomas said. “From doing one thing and trying to adjust to the team because that’s just what you got to do. It’s tough for sure. So just got to figure it out.”
  • Speaking to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Bulls center Andre Drummond admitted that he would’ve liked to re-sign with the Nets as a free agent last summer, but turned to the “next best option” when things didn’t work out with Brooklyn. “I definitely wanted to come back, but I think they were going in a different direction, so there was nothing I could really do about that,” said Drummond, who was the Nets’ starting center down the stretch and in the playoffs last spring.

New York Notes: Rose, Robinson, Hart, Brunson, Thomas, Simmons

Derrick Rose, who hasn’t been in the Knicks’ rotation, wasn’t involved in a deal at the trade deadline, but it doesn’t appear Rose will seek a buyout, Zach Braziller of the New York Post writes.

Rose is content to being a team leader and mentoring the Knicks’ younger players. “It’s still the same thing. I’m still locked in with the team, talking to the guys, mentoring,” he said.

However, a source told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News that Rose wouldn’t totally dismiss the possibility of a buyout if there was a team in need of a veteran point guard. The former MVP is signed through next season but there’s a team option on his $15,596,339 salary.

We have more on the New York teams:

  • Mitchell Robinson is progressing well, but the Knicks center won’t return from his thumb injury prior to the All-Star break, Bondy tweets. Robinson, in the first year of a four-year, $60MM contract, has been out of action since Jan. 18.
  • Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson were teammates at Villanova and now they’ve been reunited with Hart being traded from Portland. Brunson believes Hart will make the Knicks grittier, Braziller writes. “He’s a tough-minded guy,” Brunson said. “He doesn’t back down from a challenge and that’s how he is and that’s how he’s been. I’m not worried at all. He’s going to fit in.”
  • Cam Thomas strung together three 40-point games this month but it wasn’t enough to keep him in the starting lineup, Dan Martin of the New York Post notes. Nets coach Jacque Vaughn is trying to sort through all the changes in the roster. Thomas played 18 minutes and scored 14 points against Philadelphia on Saturday. “We’ve seen him garner a lot of attention as a starter, so I don’t think that changes,” Vaughn said. “It will be great to see that against the second unit. He’s a guy we can put the ball in his hand when we need a bucket. He has confidence to come off the bench and score.”
  • Ben Simmons‘ former coach, the Sixers’ Doc Rivers, believes Simmons can regain his All-Star level form with the Nets now that Kyrie Irving has been traded, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I believe he can get back to where he was with us, especially now, I think, because he will have the ball in his hands more,” Rivers said. “I thought that’s what we did that really kind of freed him up. But it’s just going to take time. Now, what has it been, a year and a half? I don’t think it’ll be overnight. But he’s working, and that’s all you can do.”

New York Notes: Thomas, Marks, Knicks, Anunoby, LaVine

Nets guard Cam Thomas was fined $40K by the NBA for using “derogatory and disparaging language during a live television interview,” the league announced on Friday (via Twitter).

Thomas was being interviewed on TNT on Thursday night alongside new teammate Spencer Dinwiddie and was asked about comments Dinwiddie made during his press conference earlier in the week. Dinwiddie had joked that the Nets acquired him and Dorian Finney-Smith because they needed more good-looking players.

“We already had good-looking dudes, no homo,” Thomas said (Twitter video link via ClutchPoints).

Thomas took to Twitter late on Thursday night to issue an apology for his comment.

“I want to apologize for the insensitive word I used in the post-game interview,” Thomas wrote. “I was excited about the win and was being playful. I definitely didn’t intend to offend anyone, but realize that I probably did. My apologies again. Much love.”

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • The status of Nets general manager Sean Marks is worth watching this offseason, given how disappointing the Kyrie Irving/Kevin Durant era in Brooklyn ultimately was, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Marks has already gotten the chance to hire three head coaches, Lewis notes, and the team seems further from title contention than it has been at any time in recent years.
  • Speaking to reporters after this week’s blockbuster trades, Marks acknowledged that the Irving/Durant Nets “didn’t work” and said it was “sad” to trade away a superstar like Durant. Adam Zagoria of has the story and the quotes from the Nets’ GM.
  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News confirms the Knicks had discussions about OG Anunoby and Zach LaVine prior to the trade deadline, but says those talks didn’t gain traction.
  • According to Ian Begley of, the Knicks and Bulls touched base on LaVine on Thursday, several weeks after initially discussing him. During those earlier talks, there was some support within the Knicks’ organization for pursuing LaVine using a package of Derrick Rose, Evan Fournier, a young rotation player, and “significant” draft capital. New York, concerned that it might be a lateral move, opted not to meet Chicago’s asking price, but it’s possible the two teams will revisit those conversations in the summer, Begley writes.
  • Although the Knicks didn’t want to give up draft capital to move off Fournier’s contract, they mulled the possibility of downgrading their draft assets in a deal involving him (ie. trading Fournier and a first-round pick in a deal for a less valuable first-rounder), according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. The veteran wing ended up staying put, as New York didn’t find a deal it liked.

New York Notes: Thomas, Claxton, Dinwiddie, Knicks, Reddish

It was just two weeks ago that a report identified Cam Thomas as one of the young players the Nets could dangle in trade talks. Since then, Thomas’ role in Brooklyn has changed in a major way.

Thomas has scored at least 43 points in each of his last three games, totaling 134 points on 42-of-75 (56.0%) shooting in those three contests while knocking down 14-of-25 (56.0%) three-pointers. According to ESPN Stats and Info (Twitter link), the 21-year-old is the youngest player in NBA history to score 40 or more points in three consecutive games.

During an SNY TV appearance (Twitter video link), Ian Begley said he hadn’t gotten the impression prior to Thomas’ scoring binge that the Nets were looking to shop him, and that’s even more true now. If anything, Begley noted, Thomas’ play may result in more potential trade partners inquiring on the second-year guard as a valuable young asset as Brooklyn explores the market for roster upgrades.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • Begley also confirmed during his SNY TV appearance that the Raptors are seeking center Nic Claxton as part of any major trade with the Nets. That represents a major “roadblock” in Brooklyn’s efforts to land a player like Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, or Fred VanVleet, given what an important role Claxton has played for the team this season, Begley says.
  • Speaking to reporters at an introductory press conference on Tuesday, new Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie stated that he expects to remain with the team through Thursday’s trade deadline, observing that it would be “silly” for Brooklyn to hold the press conference if that wasn’t the plan (Twitter link via Marc J. Spears of Andscape). Brian Lewis of The New York Post passes along a few more of the presser’s notable quotes from Dinwiddie and new Nets forward Dorian Finney-Smith.
  • Madison Square Garden Sports president David Hopkinson said on Tuesday that the company would be open to selling minority shares in the Knicks, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Knicks owner James Dolan has been adamant that he has no desire to give up control of the franchise, but with franchise valuations skyrocketing, it sounds like he’s open to the idea of raising capital by giving up a smaller stake.
  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News explores the Knicks‘ trade deadline outlook, suggesting that Cam Reddish will be a strong candidate for a buyout if he’s not moved by Thursday afternoon.

New York Notes: Nets Trade Talk, Simmons, Vaughn, Dolan, Robinson

The Nets are one of the more active teams on the trade market, sources tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.

Joe Harris, Seth Curry and/or Patty Mills could potentially be on the move due to their short-term salaries and reduced roles, O’Connor notes. Beyond that, they could only dangle young players Day’Ron Sharpe and Cam Thomas, their 2028 or 2029 first-round pick, and a future first-rounder from Philadelphia in 2027 or 2028.

We have more on the New York teams:

  • The Nets’ Ben Simmons says that coach Jacque Vaughn hasn’t really informed him why he’s often been on the bench in late-game situations, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. “I really had no message from him. I think it’s more just wherever team needs,” Simmons said. “When we’re winning I have no problem with it; if we’re losing then I got an issue.”
  • Speaking of Simmons, Vaughn says he expects him to be more consistent in the second half of the season, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN. Simmons had a 10-point third quarter against Philadelphia on Wednesday and the coach wants to see that offensive aggression more often. “That’s the goal,” Vaughn said. “That’s where we’re going to get him to, where each possession he has to be dealt with on both ends of the floor. Where you feel him on both ends of the floor and he imposes his will and has an impact on every single possession, which he has the ability to do. That’s where we’re going to get to, that’s the challenge and we’re going to continue to expect it from him.”
  • Knicks owner James Dolan figures it’ll be another month or so before center Mitchell Robinson returns to action, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News relays (Twitter link). In a Fox5 interview, Dolan said the Knicks will have to “make it through the next four weeks” without Robinson. Robinson underwent thumb surgery last week and is expected to be reevaluated in approximately two weeks.

Atlantic Notes: Reddish, Simmons, Thomas, Rivers

Forward Cam Reddish is headed to free agency next summer and he’ll be restricted if the Knicks extend a qualifying offer. Reddish is getting a chance to enhance his value, as he’s been inserted into the starting lineup, Peter Botte of the New York Post notes. Reddish played 37 minutes against Boston on Saturday and 29 minutes against Minnesota on Monday.

“It’s been cool, man, it’s been fun. It’s obviously been a journey, and I’m just trying to continue to grind,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’ve done much of anything up to this point, but every single night is a new opportunity to prove myself at both ends of the floor. So I’m just trying to go out there and do that.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets’ Ben Simmons missed four games due to a sore knee and didn’t have much of an impact upon his return, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. He finished with two points, two assists and three rebounds in 16 minutes against Dallas. “I’m my harshest critic, so I think terrible,” Simmons said of his performance. “There’s a place I want to get to. I’ve got to keep working. I’ve got to keep pushing myself.”
  • Cam Thomas has been one of the beneficiaries of Kyrie Irving‘s suspension, Lewis points out in another post. Thomas had previously expressed frustration over his limited role but he has played at least 29 minutes over the past three games. The Nets’ second-year guard has averaged 19 points and four assists in those outings. “It means a lot. It was a rough first two, three weeks of the season for me,” Thomas said. “So for Coach (Jacque Vaughn) to have trust in me to close the game out, and play me a good amount of minutes these last two games, I can’t thank him enough for that.”
  • Doc Rivers doesn’t deserve to be the fall guy for the Sixers’ slow start, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer opines. James Harden is out with a foot injury and Joel Embiid has missed some games, Pompey notes, while free agent acquisition P.J. Tucker hasn’t been the defensive stalwart the team had hoped after undergoing offseason knee surgery.

Nets’ Cam Thomas Frustrated By Limited Role

Through the Nets‘ first five games of the season, including four losses, second-year guard Cam Thomas has logged just 14 total minutes. Thirteen of those minutes came in the season opener on October 19 — since then, he has been a DNP-CD three times and played the final minute of Wednesday’s game in Milwaukee when the score was out of reach.

Asked after Thursday’s game whether his lack of playing time is frustrating, Thomas replied, “Of course,” according to Ethan Sears of The New York Post.

The Nets have dealt with some injuries in the early going this season — Seth Curry still hasn’t suited up for a game as he returns from ankle surgery, and Joe Harris has been in and out of the lineup, coming off his own ankle injury. Still, Thomas finds himself behind Edmond Sumner and Patty Mills, among others, on the depth chart and isn’t part of Brooklyn’s regular rotation, Sears writes.

The former first-round pick, who appeared in 67 games and averaged 17.6 MPG as a rookie in 2021/22, said that he wasn’t given a sense in training camp that he wouldn’t play regular minutes to open the season, adding that his role – or lack thereof – has been “very” surprising.

“Ain’t had no conversations (with Nets head coach Steve Nash),” Thomas said. “Just not playing at the moment. … It is what it is.”

Thomas is a prolific scorer who led all freshman during his lone college season at LSU with 23.0 points per game and put up 27.4 PPG in the Las Vegas Summer League this July.

While the Nets’ middle-of-the-pack offense could perhaps benefit from Thomas’ scoring punch, putting the ball in the basket hasn’t been the team’s main problem so far this season. Brooklyn’s 120.2 defensive rating ranks dead last in the NBA, so if Nash and the Nets’ coaching staff aren’t confident that Thomas can help improve the team on that end of the floor, his limited role makes some sense.

Brooklyn picked up Thomas’ third-year rookie scale option earlier this month, so he’s locked up through at least the 2023/24 season. The Nets also hold a team option on him for ’24/25.