Cameron Thomas: The NBA Draft Prospect that everyone should be talking about
With the NBA Draft quickly approaching, I wanted to highlight one of my favorite prospects from this upcoming draft class, Cameron Thomas. Arguably the most lethal scorer in the 2021 class, I'll be explaining why LSU's Cameron Thomas should be getting more hype.
“Everywhere,” was the response that LSU’s Cameron Thomas gave to the post-game question of “where is your favorite place on the floor to score” after scoring a career-high thirty-two points against Texas A&M on December 29th, 2020. It was a fitting response considering Thomas scored from basically everywhere on the floor that evening vs the Aggies. Thomas’s performance against Texas A&M was just one of his several stellar performances scoring the ball last season. Thomas scored twenty points or more in twenty-two of twenty-nine total games for the Tigers a season ago and was fourth in the nation in scoring with 23.0 points per game. Thomas recently declared for the 2021 NBA Draft and is not getting the attention he deserves. The top names that come to mind when considering draft prospects are obvious: Cade Cunningham, Jalen Suggs, Evan Mobley, and the list goes on. However, Cameron Thomas is arguably the best scorer in the class and is a prospect that is without a doubt being overlooked. Thomas is being slotted as a late lottery pick at the earliest and an early second-round pick at the latest, which is blasphemous for a player who scored as much and as efficiently as Thomas did in his one season at LSU. Thomas shot 40.6% from the floor while totaling 32.5% from the three-point line and committing less than two turnovers per game. Thomas’s numbers prove how effective he can be in the league as soon as he is drafted and the frustration he will create for defenders for years to come. The 6’4’’ shooting guard from Chesapeake, Virginia is the perfect definition of a three-level scorer. Thomas has a smooth jumper that makes him a threat from every spot on the floor but his jump shot isn’t the only weapon he has that makes him a tough matchup. Thomas is excellent at handling the ball and creating shots for himself, no matter if it's his lethal step-back three, or mid-range jumper, or if he’s able to get into the paint and put up a floater which he knocks down with ease. The former five-star recruit from Oak Hill Academy is great at getting himself open for his efficient jumper and floater but is also great at finishing around the rim. Thomas has the perfect blend of strength and craftiness to create openings at the basket and finish over the defense. LSU’s star freshmen received the honors of SEC newcomer of the year and first-team all-SEC, in which he was the only unanimous selection to the all-conference first team. The only knacks you can put on Thomas are his shot selection and his playmaking ability. Only averaging 1.4 assists per game, NBA scouts would’ve liked to have seen that number higher, but what Thomas lacks in assists, he makes up for in scoring. The issue that many have with the shot selection of Cameron Thomas is a fixable issue without a doubt but as talented as he is, coaches might just want to let Cam Thomas play his game. When watching him play, Cameron Thomas’s game is most comparable to that of Lou Williams and Devin Booker, two of the best scoring guards in the NBA. I have the feeling that a lot of teams are making a mistake in not taking a further look at the LSU star freshmen and will regret passing up on him in the future. A player who should be in the conversation as a solid top-ten pick, Cameron Thomas is a name to watch for in the upcoming months leading up to the NBA Draft.
*All stats received from ESPN Stats & Info. Department