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Hardwood Canvas » NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Klay Thompson

NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Klay Thompson

NBA Draft Central
Klay Thompson
Projected: Late Lottery/1st Round
2010-11 Stats: 21.6 pts, 5.2 reb, 3.7 ast, 1.6 stl, 0.9 blk, 43.6% FG, 83.8% FT, 39.8% 3-PT, 1.33 PPS

2011 NBA Draft Featured Prospect Strengths Weaknesses
Player Card: Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson

Washington State
HT 6-7
WT 206 lbs.
  • Scorer’s Mentality
  • Textbook Jumper
  • Fiery Competitor
  • Works well off screens
  • Solid 6-7 frame
  • Active Hands Defensively
  • Confident, Poised Demeanor
  • Average Ball-Handler
  • Lateral Quickness
  • Difficulty creating shot
  • Open Court Speed
  • Not a great finisher
  • Explosiveness

Thompson’s immediate impact and benefit to a prospective NBA team is as a catch-and-shoot threat out on the perimeter.  He easily displays the most textbook shooting form of any potential draftee in the 2011 class.

When his feet are set and his shoulders square you can pencil it in.  At every bit of his 6-foot 7-inch frame Thompson also has the all-important length and size to get his shot off over most NBA guards.

But he’s much more than just a shooter.  A proven scorer in the Pac-10 Conference, Thompson has become known throughout the league as a guy who can fill it up.  Once he gets hot it can be difficult for teams to put the fire out.

The lanky off-guard did a major part of his damage via ball screens in Washington State’s offensive system.  Not nearly as effective creating his own shot, Thompson uses down and flare screens to get free.  If he’s put in pick-and-roll sets he has displayed an improved ability to make plays for his Cougar teammates, but he doesn’t have the quickest first step which limits his one-on-one shot creating ability.

He can hit shots curling off defenders, off high screens taking one to two hard dribbles either direction, he will attack the basket if trailed and he can knock down NBA 3’s trailing in transition.

Thompson exhibits everything you would like to see from a catch-and-shoot type NBA guard.  Very similar style game to how Ray Allen is used in Boston, or Rip Hamilton in Detroit, Mike Miller in Miami or Kyle Korver in Chicago.  However Thompson may be more Reggie Miller than any of the above mentioned names.  Same size, same fanatic ability to get open by moving without the ball when engaged, same lack of overall speed, but the same visible competitiveness and scorer’s mentality.

A fiery determined player the Junior guard plays with a tremendous combination of passion and poise.  His demeanor remains confident regardless of score and time.

Defensively Thompson struggles staying in front of defenders based on average lateral quickness.  He is, however, extremely opportunistic and active with his hands deflecting passes and playing passing lanes.

Offensively he can at times float around the perimeter waiting for the ball.  One could chalk that up to being the primary scorer for the Cougars, however at the next level he will need to learn to find other ways to stay on the court if he is unable to get open looks from the perimeter.

In terms of intangibles much has been said and written about Thompson’s in-season Marijuana suspension.  Although the young man clearly made a huge mistake, from the moment the news was reported he handled the matter with humility, maturity and professionalism.

In fact the son of former NBA #1 overall pick Mychal Thompson (1978) chose to apologize to the great fans of Washington State before the start of his one-game suspension against UCLA instead of simply allowing a press release to do the dirty work for him.

Klay Thompson public apology

That act of character went a long way in determining how the fans of Washington State viewed him as a man and it’s that same strength of character and responsibility NBA teams should look forward to seeing at the next level.

But his positive and obligatory response was only magnified by his actions on the court putting in a Pac-10 Conference Tournament record 43 points the very next time out against in-state rival Washington.


Source: Draft Express

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