Lance Thomas

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Lance Thomas
Lance Thomas vs ISU (cropped).jpg
No. 42 – Philadelphia 76ers
Position Forward
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1988-04-24) April 24, 1988 (age 27)
Brooklyn, New York
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight 235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school Scotch Plains-Fanwood
(Scotch Plains, New Jersey)
Saint Benedict's
(Newark, New Jersey)
College Duke (2006–2010)
NBA draft 2010 / Undrafted
Playing career 2010–present
Career history
20102011 Austin Toros (D-League)
2011 New Orleans Hornets
2012 Austin Toros (D-League)
20122013 New Orleans Hornets / Pelicans
2013–2014 Foshan Dralions (China)
2014–2015 Oklahoma City Thunder
2015–present New York Knicks
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
Stats at

Lance Thomas (born April 24, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Duke University Blue Devils men's basketball team where he started at power forward for the national champion 2010 team. He is from Scotch Plains, New Jersey but was born in Brooklyn, New York. Trash player

High school career[edit]

Thomas attended Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey during his freshman and sophomore years.

While playing for Danny Hurley, former Seton Hall point guard and brother of former Duke point guard Bobby Hurley, at Saint Benedict's Preparatory School from 2004 to 2006, he led the school to two Prep A Division New Jersey State titles with 56-3 record in his final two seasons while averaging 14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game his senior year. In 2005, Thomas played at the USA Basketball Youth Development Festival where he helped the Blue Team win the silver medal with record 3-1.[1] He was named to the 2006 McDonald's All-American team, which scored nine points and two steals.

Considered a four-star recruit by, Thomas was listed as the No. 13 small forward and the No. 42 player in the nation in 2006.[2]

After committed to Duke University on April 5, 2006, he played for US National Basketball team Under-18 in FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship during June 28-July 2, 2006 held in San Antonio, Texas. The USA team earned a gold medal winning by 92-66 victory over Canada for the final. With total of 4 rebounds, 2 points and 2 steals from Thomas along with teammate Jerryd Bayless, Michael Beasley, Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith and Spencer Hawes. Dominating opponents by an average of 29.7 points per game and result of 4-0.[3]

Name Home town High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Lance Thomas
Brooklyn, NY Scotch Plains-Fanwood(NJ) 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Apr 5, 2006 
Scout:5/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247Sports: N/A
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 6 (PF)   Rivals: 42, 13(F)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


High school awards and honors[edit]

  • McDonald's All-American (2006)
  • USA Basketball U18 Championship team (2006)
  • Second-team Parade All-American (2006)
  • Prep-School State Player of the Year by the Newark-Star Ledger (2006)[4]
  • USA Basketball Youth Development Festival Blue Team (2005)
  • Led high school team to two New Jersey state titles and a 56-3 record over final two seasons.

College career[edit]

2006–07 season[edit]

Thomas guarded Craig Brackins of Iowa State Cyclones

In his freshman year, in 31 games (18 starts), averaged 4.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, while shooting .568 from the field.

2007–08 season[edit]

In his sophomore year, in 32 games (28 starts), Thomas averaged 4.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game. He posted a .505 field goal percentage and recorded at least five rebounds 12 times, including eight of Duke’s 16 ACC games.

Thomas was known as Duke's energizer coming off the bench, banging against bigger opponents in the paint, getting offensive rebounds, and sprinting down the court every possession. But it can't be denied that Thomas was more of an offensive presence in his second season.

Dukes Blue Devils at Duquesne Dukes

Thomas' career-high in points came on November 28, 2008, when he scored 21 against Duquesne Dukes, the athletic teams of Duquesne University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His new career high broke his previous record of 15 points set Nov. 20, 2006.[5]

A career-high 21 points of 8-for-8 shooting, six rebounds, made a steal, had a block, did not commit a turnover and was simply straight the court. And that brought Thomas well deserved two times standing ovation from the Duke faithful inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.

“"Best game offensively I've played in a Duke uniform. I feel like I've played better games for this team, not including having 21 points. I mean, my game is not defined by how many points I have. But if I can bring a mix of both, and it would be great."”

—Lance Thomas on his career-high in points with 21 pts, 8/8shooting, 6 rebounds against Duquesne Dukes on Nov 28, 2008

Thomas' ability to finish shots has been a big staple of his improvement. If he gets the ball within three feet of the basket, chances are he's going to put the ball in the hoop — regardless of whether he's fouled.[5]

2008–09 season[edit]

Thomas felt that the biggest difference between this year's Duke team and the ones from the last two years, was experience.[6][7]

In his junior year, with 37 games (16 starts), averaged 5.3 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting .626 from the field. Scored in double figures on six occasions. Averaged 7.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, while going 7-of-8 from the field in three NCAA Tournament games.[4]

2009–10 season: NCAA championship[edit]

ACC Men's Basketball Tournament 2010, Miami Vs. Duke

In his senior year, Thomas and All-American point guard Jon Scheyer were co-captains of Duke’s team. In January 2010, Thomas had a career-high 12 rebounds against NC State Wolfpack. On February 10, 2010, the eighth-ranked Blue Devils held on for a 64-54 victory against rival North Carolina Tar Heels. But in this game, he was injured with a bone bruise to his right knee early with about 17 minutes left in the second half, causing him to miss the next game against University of Maryland.[8]

Co-captains Thomas and Jon Scheyer were members of Duke’s 2010 NCAA tournament team. Along with forward Kyle Singler, center Brian Zoubek, reserve forward Mason Plumlee, point guard Nolan Smith, power forward Ryan Kelly, forward Miles Plumlee and point guard Seth Curry, the team coached by Mike Krzyzewski won Duke's 4th National Championship since 1991 (Duke also won in 1992 and 2001).[9]

In the 2010 NCAA championship game, Duke faced unsung Butler Bulldogs men's basketball team. The team from Butler University, a 4,200-student private school in Indianapolis, Indiana, led by head coach Brad Stevens, and featuring Small forward / Shooting guard Gordon Hayward, defeated Michigan State 52–50 to advance to the final.

It was one of the most memorable finals in NCAA tournament history.[9] Duke was led by Kyle Singler, who scored 19 points, as Brian Zoubek rebounded and Thomas played defense. The Bulldogs had a chance to win with 3.6 seconds left. When Gordon Hayward's half-court shot at the buzzer went flying, thudded off the backboard and rim, and out and most of the crowd of 70,390 gasped, that was very close, but he missed.

That memorable Monday night Duke defeated Butler 61-59, ending with the winner of the Blue Devils. But both team played a great game and it was one of the best game in the NCAA tournament history. "We just came up a bounce short," Butler coach Brad Stevens said.[10]

In this memorable[to whom?] game, Thomas was on the floor for 35 minutes, shooting 3–5 from the field.[11]

Thomas was named to the ACC All-Defensive Team for 2010 and finished his college basketball career 10th in offensive rebounds(255) on Duke's all-time list.


  • 17–0 at home[12]
  • 13–0 on neutral courts
  • NIT Season Tip-Off Champions
  • ACC Regular season Co-Champions
  • ACC Tournament Champions, two in a row and 9 out of the last 12
  • 15th consecutive NCAA tournament
  • NCAA Champions, fourth in school history
  • National Titles in three straight decades
  • Mike Krzyzewski ties Adolph Rupp of Kentucky for second most NCAA titles by a Division I head coach[13]
  • Played in national championship game 4 of the last 12 seasons
  • 15th Final Four appearance and 10th out of the last 23 years
  • 35 victories is tied for third most in Duke history
  • 65 victories the past two seasons, most in the NCAA

Team highs[edit]

The Blue Devils won with defense. Thomas said:

"The last 30 seconds seemed like 10 minutes. When the ball bounced off, confetti came down. I looked up at the confetti, and the next thing I know I'm on my back. Jon (Scheyer) tackled me. At that point, it hit home that we were national champions."[11]

Coach Mike Krzyzewski talked about Thomas, “All of a sudden someone’s going to really like Lance, whether they draft him or bring him to camp and keep him because he’s almost 6-9, he’s got great energy. He’s really improved offensively. He’s a glue guy and he can play defense and he can defend multiple positions. I think he’s our most versatile defender. We have him guarding from centers to point guards.”[14]

In year 2010 Duke was the sixth-most effective team in the country at rebounding. And Thomas ended his college career with 10th on Duke's all-time list in offensive rebounds (255).[15] In his successful senior year 2009–10 season, in 40 games (39 starts), he averaged 4.8 points and 4.9 rebounds in 25.3 minutes per game. And he was also voted to the 2010 ACC All-Defensive team.

College achievement and honors[edit]

Professional career[edit]

Austin Toros (2010–2011)[edit]

Lance Thomas went undrafted after his senior year (2010). Thomas joined the New Jersey Nets in the 2010 NBA Summer League. On November 1, 2010, he was drafted 2nd round (3rd pick) selected by the Austin Toros.[16]

New Orleans Hornets (2011–2012)[edit]

In November 2011, he was re-acquired by the Austin Toros. On December 9, 2011, he signed with the New Orleans Hornets to the training camp.[17]

In 42 games (10 starts), averaged 4.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in 15.0 minutes with New Orleans. He scored in double figures on four occasions, including a career-high 18 points on March 9, 2012. Then he signed by New Orleans as a free agent on December 9, 2011 and waived on December 31, 2011.[18]

On January 4, 2012, he was re-acquired by the Austin Toros.[19] In 46 games (46 starts), averaged 12.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 29.8 minutes with Austin. And selected to participate in the NBA Development League All-Star Game in that year.[20][21]

He was re-signed by New Orleans with 10-day contracts on February 6, 2012[22] and the extended second 10-day contracts on February 16, 2012.[23] And signed by New Orleans Hornets for the remainder of the season on February 27, 2012.[24]

In June 2012, United States men's national basketball team announced that Thomas have been added to the select team of young players that will train against the U.S. men's Olympic basketball team. Along with rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving, Jeremy Lin, John Wall, Kawhi Leonard, DeJuan Blair, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Paul George, Taj Gibson and Klay Thompson.[25]

New Orleans Pelicans (2012–2013)[edit]

Thomas with New Orleans Hornets at Washington Wizards on March 15, 2013

In July 2012, Thomas joined the New Orleans Hornets for the 2012 NBA Summer League.[26]

In regular season 2012–13, he played 59 games for the Hornets, averaging 2.5 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.[27] In April 2013, the New Orleans Hornets were renamed the New Orleans Pelicans.

In July 2013, Thomas joined the New Orleans Pelicans for the 2013 NBA Summer League team.[28] And was waived on July 10, 2013.[29] And then, he was re-signed with the New Orleans Pelicans on August 22, 2013,[30] and was waived on November 12, 2013.[31] He appeared in 106 games for the now-Pelicans over three seasons, averaging 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds.[32]

Foshan Dralions of China (2013–2014)[edit]

In December 2013, Thomas signed with the Foshan Dralions of China for the rest of the 2013–14 CBA season. Which the regular season ended on February 16, 2014.[33]

He was a starter with average 42.4 minutes per game, 26.1 points per game as 2013–14 Guangdong Foshan Franchise Career Point Leaders of the Year 2014, follow with 11.2 rebound and 1.8 assist per game.[34] “China was a good and competitive league. It gave me the chance to get more confidence back from my offensive game and work on the things I needed to do to get back to the NBA.” He said.

Chicago Bulls & Oklahoma City Thunder (2014–2015)[edit]

In July 2014, Thomas joined the Chicago Bulls for the 2014 NBA Summer League. And on September 29, 2014, after joined the OKC Thunder training camp with Michael Jenkins, Richard Soloman and Talib Zanna. Thomas took the spot to be one of Oklahoma City Thunder's roster.[35] Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said of Thomas: “Lance is a hard worker. He’s a player that can guard multiple positions. He gives you everything he has and that’s what you want.”[36]

After a strong showing in the pre-season. He started at the outset of the season because of many main roster's injuries, averaging 5.1 points and 3.4 rebounds in 20.5 minutes over 22 games, including 13 starts. And later, when the team got healthy, Thomas lost his spot in the rotation and the team traded him to the New York Knicks.

New York Knicks (2015–present)[edit]

On January 5, 2015, he was traded to the New York Knicks in a three-team trade that also involved the Thunder and the Cleveland Cavaliers. In addition to Thomas, the Knicks received Alex Kirk, Lou Amundson, and a second round pick in the 2019 NBA draft, while Cleveland received Iman Shumpert and J. R. Smith from the Knicks and a first round pick in the 2015 NBA draft from the Thunder, and Cleveland sent Dion Waiters to Oklahoma City.[37] Then Knicks waived him on January 7, 2015.[38]

3 Days later, Thomas signed a 10-day contract with Knicks again.[39] And continued a second 10-day contract with the Knicks on January 21.[40] After that, in January 31, he signed with the Knicks for remainder of the season[41] being effective player in the Triangle Offense.[42]

On January 15, he was also be a part of NBA Global Games schedule for the 2014-15 season host by the United Kingdom, feature a game between the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks at The O2 Arena. (Knicks 79 - Bucks 95) Along with the on court action, and also will feature a variety of off-the-court activities, including NBA Cares community programs and interactive fan events. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said,"While London have their own unique culture, they have rich sports traditions and share a great passion for the NBA. These regular-season games will bring the excitement and incredible competition of our league to more fans in Europe and global."[43]

After that, on Sunday, March 22, 2015 New York Knicks lost to Toronto Raptors 106-89 at Air Canada Centre. Thomas scoring a career-high 24 points, including a pair of three-point field goals — his first connections from beyond the arc in his career.

On July 10, 2015, Thomas re-signed with the Knicks.[44] On December 21, in a loss to the Orlando Magic, Thomas tied his career-high of 24 points on 9-of-9 from the field, 3-of-3 from three-point range, and 3-of-3 from the free throw line.[45]

Career achievement and honors[edit]

  • Guangdong Foshan(China) Franchise's Career Point Leaders of the Year, average 42.4 minutes per game, 26.1 points per game (2014)
  • the select team of young players that will train against the U.S. men's Olympic basketball team (2012)[25]
  • NBA D-League All-Star Game (2012)
  • USA Pan American Games Team (2011)
  • The Austin Toros selected Thomas in Round 2 with Pick 3 in the 2010 Annual NBA Development League Draft (2010)[16]

Career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

High School Special Event[edit]

2006 McDonalds All-American 1 1 21.0 .500 0.0 .500 0 0 2 0 9

FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship[edit]

2006 Americas U18 4 n/a n/a .167 0.5 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.50 .0 0.5
Total Gold 4 n/a n/a .167 0.5 0.0 4.0 0.0 2.00 .0 2.0

Non-FIBA Events[edit]

2011 Pan American Games 5 5 19.43 .444 0.0 .900 7.6 0.6 0.40 .0 8.2
Total Bronz 5 5 98.35 .444 0.0 .900 38.0 3.0 2.00 .0 41.0

High School[edit]

2006 St. Benedict 3 3 n/a n/a 0.0 n/a 6.5 n/a n/a n/a 14.5
Total 3 3 n/a n/a 0.0 n/a 19.5 n/a n/a n/a 43.5


2006–07 Duke 31 18 14.9 .568 0.0 .593 2.5 0.0 1.80 .10 4.0
2007–08 Duke 32 28 18.5 .505 0.0 .521 3.3 1.7 1.70 .38 4.3
2008–09 Duke 37 16 18.6 .626 0.0 .553 3.6 1.7 0.46 .38 5.3
2009–10 Duke 40 39 25.3 .439 0.0 .743 4.9 0.9 1.48 .20 4.8
Career 140 101 19.7 .525 0.0 .600 3.6 0.9 0.55 .24 4.6


Regular Season

2013–14 Foshan Dralions 16 15 42.4 .564 0.0 .721 10.75 1.0 1.62 .56 26.06
Career 16 15 42.4 .564 0.0 .721 10.75 1.0 1.62 .56 26.06

NBA D League[edit]

Regular season

2011–12 Austin Toros 46 46 29.8 .500 .083 .703 5.50 1.13 0.67 .28 12.63
2012–13 Austin Toros 19 19 32.5 .500 .000 .727 7.74 1.63 0.74 .37 15.05
Career 65 65 30.6 .514 .083 .711 6.15 1.28 0.69 .31 13.34


Regular season

2011–12 New Orleans 42 10 15.0 .452 .000 .839 3.0 .3 .2 .2 4.0
2012–13 New Orleans 59 9 10.9 .500 .000 .729 1.9 .3 .2 .1 2.5
2013–14 New Orleans 5 0 8.4 .222 .000 .500 1.4 .6 .0 .0 1.2
2014–15 Oklahoma City 22 13 20.5 .357 .000 .697 3.4 .9 .5 .0 5.1
2014–15 New York 40 24 26.0 .434 .333 .742 3.0 1.2 .7 .2 8.3
Career 168 56 16.7 .430 .304 .754 2.6 .6 .3 .1 4.5


He is son of Lily Irvin. His favorite athlete is Jermaine O’Neal. Thomas was an honor roll student in high school, and a two-year member of the Student Leadership Conference at Duke University. He has also participated in the Role Model Speaker Series at the Emily K Center.[46]

Off the court[edit]

Beside a career of professional basketball player, he is an artist and enjoys drawing. He graduated with a visual arts major (same major as his Duke's teammate, Kyle Singler.) Thomas said, "It's another side of me, a side people don't know about as much, and I kind of like that." He was found his talent early. An avid doodler, he has honed his talents and has become a meticulous sketch artist. One of his designs sits on his right biceps—a complex tattoo of his home state of New Jersey.[47]

Back in 2009, he spent summer months working as a graphic designer in the Duke Athletic Department. And for his capstone—a thesis-type project required of all seniors—Thomas designed custom posters for each of his senior classmates. Using Photoshop, he made each one particular to his classmate—Scheyer's, for example, showed the Chicago skyline in the background. And on senior night, the posters were displayed on the scoreboard as each senior was introduced.[48]

Settled a lawsuit and cleared of all wrongdoing[edit]

In September 2012, Thomas settled a lawsuit with a New York City jeweler who said he was owed a remaining balance of $67,800 for purchased items with a $30,000 down payment in December 2009. And according to an invoice, Thomas was supposed to have paid the rest of the bill within 15 days of the down payment.

The lawsuit launched an NCAA investigation into the transaction[49][50] to determine if Thomas had received extra benefits because of his status as an athlete.

In April 2013, Thomas was cleared of all wrongdoing, along with the university, by the NCAA. A university statement released by associate athletic director Jon Jackson

"The NCAA concluded its investigation and found no evidence of a rule violation in this situation based on the information available, and both the NCAA and Duke consider the matter closed. Thomas and Rafaello and Co. settled the lawsuit on Sept. 18. Terms were confidential."[51]

Experts pointed out that pursuing an investigation into potential NCAA rules violations was made difficult by both the jeweler’s and Thomas’ refusal to speak with the NCAA.

Social support[edit]

In October 2012, Thomas participated with students at Estelle Elementary in the school's Bee-Fit Field Day.[52] In June 2013, Thomas joined NOLA FOR LIFE, the New Orleans' Comprehensive Murder Reduction Strategy. Midnight Basketball was opened to males over the age of 16 along with providing mentorship and educational support.[53]

On December 13, 2014, Thomas joined the Thunder Youth Basketball Holiday Camp to help develop and train the young kids.[54]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Lance Thomas Recruiting Profile
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b "Senior Class: Thomas, Zoubek, Scheyer concluded their Duke careers in best possible fashion". Retrieved April 7, 2010. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Duke Blue Devils Basketball Statistical Database – Lance Thomas". Retrieved April 4, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b
  17. ^ Hornets add nine players to training camp
  18. ^ New Orleans Hornets waive F Lance Thomas
  19. ^ 2011-12 Transactions
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Hornets sign forward Lance Thomas to 10-day contract
  23. ^ Hornets sign Lance Thomas to second 10-day contract
  24. ^ Hornets sign Lance Thomas for rest of season
  25. ^ a b
  26. ^ 2012 Hornets Summer League Team
  27. ^ Lance Thomas NBA & ABA Stats
  28. ^ 2013 Pelicans Summer League Team
  29. ^ "Pelicans waive Lance Thomas". July 10, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  30. ^ Pelicans re-sign Lance Thomas
  31. ^ Pelicans sign Lou Amundson and Josh Childress, waive Lance Thomas and Arinze Onuaku
  32. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ OKC Thunder training camp: Michael Jenkins, Richard Soloman, Lance Thomas, Talib Zanna added to roster
  36. ^
  37. ^ Knicks Part of Three-Team Trade
  38. ^ Knicks waive Lou Amundson, Lance Thomas, Alex Kirk
  39. ^ Knicks sign Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas to 10-day contracts
  40. ^ Knicks Sign Lance Thomas to Second 10-Day Contract
  41. ^ Knicks Sign Thomas For Remainder Of Season
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^ "Knicks Re-Sign Lance Thomas". July 10, 2015. Retrieved July 10, 2015. 
  45. ^ "Vucevic scores 26, Magic snap Knicks' 4-game win streak". December 21, 2015. Retrieved December 22, 2015. 
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^ Duke cooperating with NCAA probe
  50. ^ Ex-Duke forward Lance Thomas to speak to NCAA about jewelry purchase
  51. ^ [1]
  52. ^ Estelle Elementary Bee-Fit Field Day
  53. ^ Lance Thomas joins Mayor Landrieu to Launch Midnight Basketball Season 4
  54. ^ Thomas Stops By Holiday Camp

External links[edit]