The conditions of the NBA G League single site season in Orlando were difficult enough. After the year that was 2020, players had to quarantine and get tests for a week before heading to Disney to quarantine some more. Then after all the time sitting in a room, practice for a week or so with new teammates in a potentially very new basketball system before playing 15 of the biggest games of your life to that point over the next 24 days.
Difficult right? Now how about switching teams in the middle of that 24 days? Crazy right?
One person reading this didn’t think it was (or didn’t make it seem like it was): Brodric Thomas.
The 6-5, 185 pound undrafted rookie guard out of Truman State showed flashes in training camp with the Houston Rockets and stayed ready until breaking out in the bubble with Rio Grande Valley. Thomas averaged 16.4 points on .434 shooting and .365 from three-point range with 7.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks in 33.3 minutes per game for the Vipers. His strong start and ability to stuff the stat sheet caught the eye of our own Cavs front office and earned him a call-up to be a Two-Way Player with Cleveland.
“BT can play either guard spot because he has a great feel for the game while he’s also a good shooter off the bounce or catch,” said Charge General Manager Brendon Yu. “He’s also great at using his length on the defensive end to get steals, blocks, and deflections where he can make an impact anywhere on the floor.”
And make an impact he did, improving his numbers in just about every category while playing virtually the same amount of minutes over six games: 21.3 points on .462 shooting and .462 from three-point range with 6.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.2 blocks in 33.8 minutes.
It’s one thing to make those improvements over the course of 15 games but to do it for two different teams? Impressive. He earned Second Team All-NBA G League honors and was named to the NBA G League All-Rookie Team as accolades for his efforts.
“It was pretty easy to see how talented Brodric was offensively when I watched him with the Vipers,” said Charge play-by-play voice Scott Zurilla. “When he joined the Charge, I could really see how complete of a player he really was with how he could defend multiple positions using his athleticism and footwork.”
Thomas made the difficult seem easy by stuffing the stat sheet each game with a complete variety of plays. Block, slashing dunk, deep three-pointer, deflections into steals, fast break layups and assists… just about any play you can think of being made in a game, BT probably did it during a game this season. He’s a basketball Swiss Army Knife, pivoting to a different tool from his game needed to make a play all over the floor.
And there are more difficult times ahead. The hard work doesn’t stop now that he’s made it to Cleveland… Thomas has to continue to grind each and every day to get better & prove he belongs in the NBA. He’s off to a good start there too, appearing in 14 games already for the Cavs and stuffing the stat sheet in relief with five points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block on January 29th versus the Lakers.
As Cleveland fights to make the expanded playoffs, Brodric will look to finish the season strong and carve out as much playing time for himself as he can.
Shouldn’t be too difficult for him.