If there were any bright spots to the season of the Brooklyn Nets, it was the emergence of star Cam Thomas and how integral he became to the team. Thomas saw major statistical categories jump up drastically which should have been enough for him to be considered for the award of Most Improved Player, but the voters saw it another way.

At the very least, Thomas said he should have been in the top three of Most Improved Player, but instead he was seventh in terms of total points according to the NBA's PR X (formerly known as Twitter) account. He would also say that what he has done this past season went “unnoticed” where in any other year, it would have been talked about per The New York Post.

“I should definitely be top three [for Most Improved], going from barely playing in the rotation and having little spurts in the season to going all the way up an 11-point jump to 22 points per game,” Thomas said. “Any other year, that goes noticed; but this year, it’s gone unnoticed.”

“Obviously, I feel like when you have a jump like that in all aspects, if you watch the games you see how I’m guarded and all the other stuff,” Thomas continued. “I should definitely be in the top three of that conversation. … [But] we probably didn’t win enough games.”

A look at how the Most Improved Player award contest looked like

As Thomas mentioned, he averaged 22.5 points per game where in the season prior, he was at 10.6 which is a 11.9 points difference. On top of the fact that he had an enlarged role with Brooklyn this season where he stared in 51 games compared to four in the 2022-23 season, plus he led the team in scoring.

Philadelphia 76ers star Tyrese Maxey would end up winning the award as he had 51 first place votes compared to the runner up in Chicago Bulls guard Coby White who had 32. Rounding out the top three was Houston Rockets big-man Alperen Sengun, but there would be three more names before Thomas in Oklahoma City Thunder's Jalen Williams, New York Knicks' Jalen Brunson, and Washington Wizards' Deni Avdija.

Nets general manager Sean Marks talks about Thomas' growth

Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas (24) reacts in the third quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The point difference between last season and this season is also the biggest jump in franchise history which makes the placement for Thomas even more questionable. Still, he has the confidence in the Nets organization as general manager Sean Marks has highly touted Thomas and his growth.

“Look, Cam had a heck of a year. I’m not saying anything that anybody didn’t see for themselves,” Marks said via The New York Post. “I really was intrigued about the responsibility Cam took in his own development, in terms of we all knew he could go get a bucket, we all knew the confidence that he plays with, which some of that to be quite honest can’t be taught. So it’s innately who he is and how he’s built.”

“But it’s him being a facilitator out there, him playing with others, him making other people look good,” Marks continued. “And we saw that over the course of the year, taking a little bit more emphasis on the defensive side of the ball, too, scrapping for loose balls, getting in there for defensive rebounds. So I’ve got to give Cam a lot of credit, because his game has developed over the course of last year.”

Thomas knows he has a lot of work to do this summer

Other reasons why Thomas might not have been highly considered is because of how the Nets performed this season where they finished with just above 30 wins on the season and were eliminated from playoff contention. However, there is a lot of room to grow for the still 22-year old player as he knows he has a lot of work to do this offseason.

“Just knowing that I could be doubled a lot more, coming off screens and stuff, or even in one-on-one situations, reading where the double will come from, seeing where teams double me, and the way teams double me,” Thomas said. “It’ll be reading, watching film and seeing where I can make quicker reads.

“This year, I was going on the fly,” Thomas continued. “Me and Jay [Hernandez, assistant coach,] was going over it. At the same time, I never went through that, so everything was new and learning on the fly. I’ll look at that and keep going over it and find quicker solutions to beat the double.”

The Nets went 32-50 this season which put them 11th in the Eastern Conference as they look to improve after another disappointing season. With that, Thomas can even be better than this past year and possibly be in contention for Most Improved Player again in the 2024-25 season.