Cam Thomas has made the most of his first real NBA opportunity this season. After spending two years on the bench, he's become a focal point of the Brooklyn Nets' offense, averaging a team-high 21.3 points per game on 44/37/83 shooting splits.

Thomas' scoring average has jumped 10.7 points from last season- the highest of any player in the league. Given the leap in production, the 22-year-old feels he deserves more consideration for the NBA's Most Improved Player award, via Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.

“I feel like my name should definitely be in the conversation more,” Thomas said. “But whatever happens, happens. I'm just worried about getting wins for the team because we have bigger goals, as far as getting into the playoffs, the play-in. So I feel like that's more important than that.”

“But obviously, for the season I've had with what I have honestly gone through my first two years, just playing sporadically and then just kind of getting a full-time role in my third year, having that jump like this, I feel like that just can't go unnoticed… So obviously I think my name should be in the conversation more, but I have bigger goals as far as my team.”

Thomas' leap should not be a complete surprise given elite scoring flashes during his first two seasons. With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving sidelined amid trade negotiations last year, the LSU product became the youngest player in NBA history to score 40-plus points in three straight games.

While he still failed to crack the rotation in the second half of 2022-23, Brooklyn has given Thomas the keys to the offense this year. He ranks 14th in the NBA in usage rate, ahead of players such as Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, Nikola Jokic and LeBron James.

In addition to his scoring, Brooklyn's coaching staff has sought improvement from Thomas as a playmaker and defender- two areas that previously led to his limited playing time. His well-rounded performance (29 points, seven rebounds, and five assists) during Sunday's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers garnered praise from interim head coach Kevin Ollie.

Cam Thomas time

Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas (24) brings the ball up court in the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas is averaging 3.5 assists over his last 20 appearances, and he said he has significant room for growth as he closes out his third season.

“I'd probably say just staying more locked in on the defensive end. I feel like this year I've played great defense, but I get lost ball-watching and stuff. And obviously still showing I can play-make with the best of them, just still showing that,” Thomas said of where he can improve more. “Because teams are guarding me differently, trying to turn me into a passer. So just being able to make those passes on time and on target. I feel like I've been doing a good job of that for my guys, getting them open shots and stuff.”

“Obviously, I just wanna keep improving on those two things. But as I say all the time, I just wanna improve on everything. Nobody's game is absolutely perfect, it don't matter who it is. So I just wanna keep improving on everything: shooting, dribbling, passing, defense, playmaking, rebounding, whatever it is, just wanna keep improving all that stuff.”

Due to the new 65-game requirement in the CBA, Thomas must play in 16 of Brooklyn's 17 remaining games to be eligible for Most Improved Player. He must also play at least 20 minutes in each appearance.

Philadelphia 76ers star Tyrese Maxey is considered the favorite for the award after James Harden's departure presented him with the keys to the backcourt. The 23-year-old is averaging 26.0 points and 6.3 assists on 45/38/87 shooting splits. Chicago Bulls guard Coby While is next in the running, averaging 19.7 points and 5.3 assists on 46/39/84 splits.

While catching Maxey is highly unlikely, a strong close to the season could put Thomas' name in the conversation ahead of potential contract extension talks this summer.