Hollis Thompson Leads Suns in Return to NBA form

By Jacob Withee | April 23, 2019

Hollis Thompson last played in the NBA in 2016-17, but his game this past season suggests he belongs in the world’s top league.

Thompson was acquired by the Northern Arizona Suns in a trade on Dec. 17, and after that point, he led the team in scoring with 16.6 points, to go along with 6.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 30 games (all starts). It marked his best career season in the NBA G League, more than doubling his scoring average from his rookie year in 2012-13.

Thompson returned to his NBA form, where he’s played in 265 career games for the Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans. His best season came in 2015-16 with his 9.8 points per game scoring average, to go with 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per contest in 77 games (17 starts).

The 28-year-old had something to prove right away, coming into the NBA G League with seven straight double-digit scoring performances, including four 20+ point games. He ended up with five 20+ point games in his first nine contests, the second fastest run to five 20+ point games in team history, second only to Danuel House, who had five such games in eight contests.

Thompson remained consistent for months after that, and his level of play grew even larger beginning in March. On the first day of the month, Thompson posted 26 points, nine rebounds and three assists against Oklahoma City. Four days later, he had 27 points on 11-of-19 shooting, including 5-of-8 from distance, 11 rebounds and two blocks at South Bay. He wouldn’t score fewer than 15 points the rest of the season, achieving a new professional career-high 33 points on 12-of-17 shooting (4-5 3PT, 5-6 FT), to go with four rebounds and two steals. His 33 points tied the most scored by a Suns player in a game in 2018-19 (Jawun Evans).

Also since joining the Suns, Thompson had the second most rebounds (the most defensive), the third most assists, the third most double-doubles, the most minutes and the most field goals made.

There is no shortage of scorers needed in the NBA, and Thompson can definitely be that. Now it’ll come down to which team wants to give him an opportunity.

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