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5 Saints and their NBA Finals player comparisons

C.J. Gardner-Johnson, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
C.J. Gardner-Johnson, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /
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Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Saints Player No. 1: Michael Thomas — Warriors’ Klay Thompson

“Comeback szn” applies to all players, regardless of the sport, and both Saints’ Michael Thomas and Warriors’ Klay Thompson know the sentiment all too well.

Thompson was one of the NBA’s best shooting guards — not to mention one of Golden State’s most beloved players — when he tore his ACL in 2019. A little over a year later, he tore his Achilles and missed his second straight season. Injuries robbed the Warriors star of two potentially legacy-defining seasons, which is something Thomas can also attest to.

Thomas, the 2019 Offensive Player of the Year, hauled in a record-breaking 149 catches for 1,725 yards before he suffered an ankle injury in 2020 and missed a stretch of games that season and the entire 2021 season.

With Saints minicamp underway, Thomas is still rehabbing his ankle and hasn’t stepped onto the field yet, yet all signs show he’ll be ready for the upcoming season. What should fans expect from Thomas in 2022? Maybe take a page out of Klay Thompson’s book…

Two years removed from shooting a basketball, Thompson’s climactic return this past January was one of the high points of the Warriors’ season, but Golden State knew it had to keep its expectations realistic. Thompson ended up averaging 20.4 points in 32 regular-season games, the third-highest scoring average anyone has ever posted after missing two straight seasons. It’s an impressive outcome given the severity of Thompson’s injuries, but his numbers are just respectable and nowhere near his prime form.

As for the postseason, Thompson hasn’t performed that well either, averaging 18.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists in the 2022 NBA Finals, yet such is to be expected for a formerly injured star.

With all that in mind, expect some natural pains for Thomas as he acclimates to the hard-nosed competition of the NFL. Though a 1,000-plus receiving yard season may be firmly out of reach, he can still make a pivotal impact for NOLA as both a decently productive wideout and a team morale booster.

Next. 3 biggest storylines to watch at Saints minicamp. dark

As a Saints fan, I’m quite fond of the chant “Who Dat!” but as an unashamed Warriors fan, too, I beseech you all to cheer for Golden State tonight in Game 6 with a different two-syllable rallying cry: “Go Dubs!”

Besides, we can all agree on one thing: Boston fans are the absolute worst.