Former WSU guard Klay Thompson has impressed NBA executives in the buildup to the NBA Draft. He's soaring up 2011 NBA Mock Draft boards, to the point that it's now looking more likely than not that Thompson will end up in the lottery.
With the NBA Draft just over a week away, former WSU guard Klay Thompson is seeing his stock continue to rise as teams get a closer look at the Cougar sharpshooter -- so much so that it's now looking more likely than not that he ends up in the lottery.
It's been a couple of weeks since we've checked in on the buzz surrounding Thompson, and in that time, ESPN.com's Chad Ford has reported via Twitter and his draft blog that teams are increasingly impressed with the WSU star:
Klay Thompson had a great week in Chicago. Sounds like he's following it up with great workouts. I think he'll land in lottery.
He followed that up with more detail on his draft blog:
(Thompson) has already had two high-profile workouts with the Washington Wizards and New York Knicks. In both of them, the teams raved about his shooting ability and overall play.
But I don't think the Knicks (17th pick) nor the Wizards (18th pick) will be able to get their hands on him. Yes, I've had Thompson going to the Wizards in all three of my mock drafts, but I'm hearing that a number of teams ahead of them -- read: the Bucks, Warriors, Suns and Pacers -- have serious interest.
That was back on June 3. Thompson has now moved up to No. 12 on Ford's Top 100 prospects, and Ford made good on his prediction that Thompson would land in the lottery by sending him to the Golden State Warriors at No. 11 in his latest mock draft:
Analysis: The Warriors have a new owner, a new head coach and new management. Of the three, the most important addition might be Jerry West, who knows how to build winners and is far from a wallflower.
The first shoe is already beginning to drop with word that the Warriors are open to moving Monta Ellis. His replacement? The sweet shooting Thompson, who has wowed in recent workouts. He has size, the pedigree and, most of all, the blessing of West. Marcus Morris and Alec Burks are other possibilities here.
The Knicks are said to be madly in love with Thompson, which means Thompson needs to be off the board before the Knicks pick.
From an offensive standpoint, the Knicks would be an incredible landing point for Thompson. Mike D'Antoni believes the best shot you get is in the first seven seconds of most possessions, and that often includes transition 3-pointers. Klay Thompson certainly fits the bill on that front. But from a defensive standpoint, he might not be the greatest fit for a team that already struggles on that end of the court.
Personally? I'd love to see him to go to the Warriors. He'd still be near home, and watching him and Stephen Curry shoot the lights out would be a heck of a lot of fun. Beyond that, Jerry West is in charge now, and the man puts together a winner everywhere he goes -- although he left the Memphis Grizzlies four years ago, his fingerprints are all over the current squad.
One final nugget for you. Here's a video DraftExpress.com put together with both an interview and workout footage. Interesting stuff.
We'll check in on Thompson's stock again next Wednesday on the eve of the draft.