Matt Thomas is an American-born professional basketball player who currently plays for the Chicago Bulls in the NBA. Thomas already had a booming professional career in Europe before he made his NBA League debut in 2019.
Although Matt initially had to abandon his dream of playing in the NBA after failing to have an impactful college career, he created another chance by showing his skills in Europe. He was the winner of the 2019 EuroCup Championship.
However, Thomas has not been able to show his magic quite yet in the NBA. It has already been four seasons since he debuted in the American basketball league, but he has never had a memorable season.
Now that he has very little time and opportunities left, his fans can only hope that he will improve and save his career from ending too soon.
This article will look more closely into his life and career in detail. But before that, let’s see quick facts about Matt.
|Full Name||Matthew William Thomas|
|Known As||Matt Thomas|
|Date of Birth||August 4, 1994|
|Birth Place||Decatur, Illinois, the USA|
|Nick Name||Mr. 99%, The Iceman|
|Age||28 years old|
|Height||1.91 m (6 feet 3 inches)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg)|
|Hair Color||Light Brown|
|Father’s Name||Greg Thomas|
|Mother’s Name||Martha Thomas|
|Siblings||Two (Josie Thomas, Tony Thomas)|
|NBA Draft||2017 / Undrafted|
|League||National Basketball Association (NBA)|
|Active Years||(2017 – Present)|
|Net Worth||$1-$5 million|
|Currently Plays For||Chicago Bulls|
|Career Highlights & Awards||
|Social Media||Instagram, Twitter|
|Merch||Hoodie, Throw Blanket|
|Last Update||February 2023|
Matt Thomas | Early Life & Family
On August 4, 1994, Matt Thomas was born in Decatur, Illinois, United States, to his parents, Greg and Martha Thomas. Besides that, he has a sister named Josie Thomas and a big brother, Tony.
Sadly, his father, Greg, passed away by suicide when he was just nine. As he was a chronic alcoholic and drug addict, he never paid attention to grooming his three little kids.
After his death at age 45, Martha became alone, but she did not give up. Even when her husband was around, he was not of much support. So, she worked hard and provided everything for her family.
At that time, Matt was just a fifth-grader, so he could not do anything to help her in her work as he had to go to school. His elder brother was not even in high school, so Martha had no other choice but to do things alone.
But, although her life was tough, Martha never felt discouraged, and because of her dedication then, they all are now thriving in the career path they chose as kids.
Matt has been athletic since childhood and has been passionate about sports since he was five. He often used to practice games in their backyard, and Martha provided him with all the required materials.
Gradually, Thomas shifted his interest entirely toward basketball and improved his basketball skills. Martha was a highly talented sportswoman, so she helped and saw him grow.
Similarly, his elder brother, Tony, was a football enthusiast and played football during his high school years. However, he never pursued a sports career. Similarly, his little sister, Josie, is a trained ballet dancer.
Matt Thomas | Basketball Career
High School Career
Matt Thomas attended the Onalaska High School in Wisconsin and played for them in school-level basketball tournaments. The small community where he grew up was already aware of Matt’s talent, and he never disappointed them.
Matt had a crucial role in leading his team to the Division II state championship in his junior year. He averaged 21.3 points and 5.3 rebounds that season, which motivated him to improve his record further the following season.
As expected, Thomas finished his senior season with an average of 28.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. He scored more than 2000 points during his four-year career at Onalaska.
After graduating high school, Thomas attended Iowa State University in Ames and played his college basketball for the Iowa State Cyclones.
As he had just entered the team as one of the best high school recruits, the team entrusted him to start almost half of the matches that season. However, his performance was disappointing as he could only average 5.5 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.
As a result, although he played all the matches, the team allowed him reduced playtime, and he played only 15.3 minutes in his sophomore season.
However, he showed notable improvement in his last two seasons after he got more opportunities when the Iowa States’ guard Naz Long got injured. Matt had 12.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in his senior season.
Matt Thoms failed to get picked in the 2017 NBA draft. There were much better college season performers than him that season, so it was already quite evident from the start that no NBA clubs would choose him.
After that episode, Thomas appeared for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2017 NBA summer league. He played some excellent games for the Lakers, and on August 29, 2017, he decided to sign with the Monbus Obradoiro to play in the Spanish Liga ACB.
Following that stint with the Obradoiro, he joined another Spanish club, Valencia Basket, for a new season. He averaged 12.7 points and 1.3 rebounds per game with Valencia and had an essential contribution to their EuroCup championship win in 2019.
Playing in the NBA
The Toronto Raptors signed Matt on July 19, 2019, and he eventually made his NBA debut on October 26, playing against the Chicago Bulls. He recorded 6 points and three rebounds in that match, which they won by 108-84.
However, Matt had to miss many matches as he injured his finger, and when he recovered, the club sent him to the Raptors 905 to play in the NBA G League. He played 41 matches in his NBA rookie season, averaging 4.9 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.
Matt is currently playing for the Chicago Bulls, but his performance since his return to the American basketball league has not been impressive at all.
Net Worth & Career Earnings
The American shooting guard from Wisconsin, Matt Thomas, has a net worth somewhere between $1 million to $5 million. However, some sites on the Internet mention it to be below $1 million.
As he did not make it to the NBA directly, he had to play for a couple of years in the Spanish Liga ACB, where the average annual salary is from $65k to $100k. So, even though the payment was relatively low there, he had a great experience.
Eventually, in 2019, Matt signed a three-year contract worth around $4.1 million with the NBA club Toronto Raptors. That deal was his most expensive signing, and he made nearly $1 million from the single season.
The Raptors paid him about $850k for his rookie season alone. Although he did not do good the following season, he received $966k from the Raptors.
After almost two consecutive unimpressive seasons, he briefly played for the Utah Jazz in the 2020-21 season, for which they offered him around half a million dollars.
Matt is currently playing for the Chicago Bulls after signing a new one-year contract with the Chicago Bulls in 2021. He had received $1.6 million for his game with the Bulls in the latest season.
Overall, Matt has accumulated approximately $4 million from his NBA career.
Matt Thomas | Relationship
Matt has been in a relationship with Paxton Elrod since 2020. Elrod mainly works as a television presenter and currently works as a host of a program at Jomboy Media. She was previously working as a media consultant at a company named Asurion.
Paxton is originally from Nashville, Tennessee, and attended the Univesity of Tennessee-Knoxville for her higher education.
After graduating from the university with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism, she worked for a while as an entertainment reporter for UT Today. Since then, she has worked for various popular media, including ESPN and Fox Sports Arizona.
She was part of the Volunteer Team that recruited new students for her university’s football program while studying in Tennessee.
It is still unknown where Matt met Paxton first, but it is easy to understand that they got together as they have a mutual interest in sports. Although Elrod did not play games, she always enjoyed watching basketball and football games.
After Matt started playing in the NBA, Elrod has often visited the court to watch his matches and support him. The two are deeply in love and prefer exploring places and enjoy together.
Before he started dating Paxton, Matt was previously in a relationship with his university friend, Emily Sudlow.
Matt Thomas | Age, Weight & Height
As of 2023, Matt Thomas is 28 years old.
Similarly, Thomas stands 1.91 meters (6 feet 3 inches) tall and weighs around 190 lb (86 kg).
Matt Thomas | Social Media
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do people call Matt Thomas Mr. 99%?
Matt had a 99% field goal percentage on catch-and-shoot attempts while playing for Valencia in the Liga ACB. After that, people began calling him Mr. 99%.
What is the wingspan of Matt Thomas?
Matt Thomas has a wingspan of around 6 feet 5 inches.