NBA Position: SF
Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN
High School: Bishop Luers High School
DRAFTED NO. 58 OVERALL BY THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS
Basement: Rodney Rogers
NBA Comparison: Quentin Richardson
- Crafty, Lefty
- Rebounds Position
- Quality Shooter
- NBA 3PT Range
- Aggressive Scorer
- Low Motor
- Defensive Liability
- Perimeter Oriented
- Conditioning Issues
This season the torch was officially passed to Thomas as the best player on the Ohio State Buckeyes as a junior and he delivered. As a freshman he was the teams Sixth Man and as a sophomore he became a starter and Robin to Jared Sullinger’s Batman.
Over the course of the three years at Ohio State Thomas has shown flashes of being an elite scorer, but has also struggled with conditioning.
The conditioning is an issue that has to be looked at going forward as it handicaps the overall abilities of Thomas on the court. When he is not in basketball shape, which for Thomas is above 230 lbs, he is less effective on the court. It anchors his feet to the floor on both ends of the floor making him more of a liability.
At his more natural playing weight (220-225 lbs) Thomas has is more elusive and able to get out to do the things he is most effective at on the offensive end. He is not a great athlete so above the rim plays are not his forte, but he has high level skills at getting to the rim as a scorer.
Coming off of screens, cuts, and cleaning up the offensive glass are the bread and butter for Thomas on the offensive end. In those three areas in specific Thomas scored 257 of his points at a clip of 1.33 points per possession (PPP).
That only made 35% of Thomas’ points as a junior, but they were his most efficient points as a scorer. Using his combination of size and skill, Thomas is a tough cover for threes inside the free-throw line area. That area is where Thomas is the most effective on the floor scoring at an efficient clip and not wasting possessions.
Thomas is a skilled jump shooter and that extends out to the NBA three-point line. He does a good job of getting open moving off the ball using his skill of cutting and moving along the baseline. The corner three is where Thomas is most effective like most shooters. He takes advantage of the short corner and can hit that shot with consistency.
Where Thomas is not as effective is in isolation opportunities. He is not a particularly skilled ball-handler in that setting which shows with his lower shooting percentage in isolations and the low 0.691 PPP in isolations.
On the court Thomas can play the three and the four when he is in shape. The combination of shooting and strength allow him to post smaller players while stepping out to stretch the floor as a four.
On the block Thomas has shown good foot-work to get himself open looks around the rim. He is favors his strong hand, the left, when finishing at the rim even in situations where the right is more traditional option.
His release is long and over the left shoulder shielding the defenders away from the ball. He is capable of getting his shot up on the block and in catch-and-shoot situations.
As a lefty shooter he has a very smooth and effortless stroke getting the ball up with ease. He does a good job getting open off the ball as a shooter stretching the floor.
It is not a floater or a hook shot, but Thomas has a left hand push shot that he hits consistently from 5-8 feet out that is tough to guard. He gets it out quickly and accurately.
On the glass Thomas is a very capable rebounder, but he plays on the perimeter on the offensive end limiting his opportunities on the offensive glass. On the defensive end Thomas frequently is defending the opponents four man giving him more chances to clean up misses. His strength and size allow him to get rebounds, but he is not a particularly skilled rebounder on either end.
Defensively Thomas is a liability and will need to be hidden in a scheme or system that does not expose Thomas to athletic three men or skilled four men on the block. He is a capable defender thanks to the system at Ohio State, but is not capable of defending the opposing teams first, second, or third options.
He plays the pick-and-roll well on the defensive end, which is a plus at the NBA level with the amount of plays ran through that set.
Overall Thomas is a quality prospect that is as diverse a scorer in this class as they come. He can score the ball in a variety of ways with the size and strength to play two positions. He is not a great defender or rebounder, but has the physical tools to improve in both aspects.