For the Rider product, the lockout shortened ’11-12 season was one of growth, which just coincidentally matched up with a contract year – or potential, contract year. Entering this offseason as a restricted free agent, Jason Thompson had his best professional season this past year, even improving his solid play post All-Star break as he averaged just shy of 10/8 in the seasons final 31 games.
I’ve long said that NBA players can put up stats if given the time, but it’s the efficiency that separates the class of player and Thompson’s numbers were efficient across the board. Thompson’s player efficiency rating jumped from 13.6 last season to 16.4 this year along with significant improvements in his true shooting, estimated field goal percentage, assist rate and his offensive rating. In addition, JT’s turnover rate (which had plagued him early in his career) was down to 11.5 from 13.7 last year, but that might be skewed by the fact that Thompson played a lesser role in the offense as his usage rate was at a career low clip.
All that said, Thompson’s fourth NBA year showed a significant amount of growth and now leaves the contractual issues in the hands of the Kings front office.
While we’ll have more on what may or may not come from JT’s restricted free agency in the future, it’s clear that Thompson had one of better seasons for the purple and black and it reflects in his grade.
Season Grade: B+