For the past few weeks, Nuss has been reporting that Klay Thompson had been shooting up draft boards as the event drew closer. Klay has seen great benefit from a weaker-than-normal class, a league who is trying to match what Dallas did in beating Miami's superteam, and some fantastic team workouts.
With his selection tonight at 11th overall, no question remains if Klay made the right choice for himself. Few of us would have ever predicted his stock to be this high (possibly even Klay did not expect this), but now he realizes a life-long dream and he will do it for a team that clearly has plans for him to contribute immediately.
So what are the Golden State Warriors getting in Klay Thompson? For starters, Klay instantly becomes one of the top-tier shooters in the NBA. We've talked ad nauseum about his picture perfect form and his ability to hit from very long range. Thompson made 39.8% of the threes he attempted this season, and that was with every opposing team doing every thing they could to keep him from getting an open look.
Outside of his deadly stroke, the Warriors are getting a hard-working individual who is willing to do anything he can to improve upon his game. His freshman year, Thompson was strictly a spot-up jump shooter. His ability to read screens and work off the ball made him a great fit for the Bennett mover-blocker system. Klay's sophomore year saw a new coach and a little more freedom on offense, so we saw him add the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. From freshman to sophomore year his free throw rate went from 8.2 all the way up to 34.2.
Klay's improvement coming into his junior season was the most impressive of all. While his first two seasons saw Thompson with the ball in his hands quite often, he was never a creator for others. His ball-handling was downright scary and he could never be trusted to bring the ball up under pressure.
That changed this past season.
During his junior campaign, Klay was relied upon to be not only the primary scorer, but the primary distributor as well. After posting a 15.4 assist rate to go along with a 19.1 turnover rate his sophomore season, Thompson improved upon both numbers with a 24.8 assist rate and 17.6 turnover rate. All the while taking more shots.
Thompson has shown the ability to improve on something every year and I'm sure he'll work his butt off to get better at whatever concerns NBA GMs may have had about him previously.
So Klay heads to the Bay Area and stays on the West Coast. He becomes the highest drafted player in the history of WSU basketball, besting
Don Collins, who was drafted at No. 18. Golden State was among the teams rumored, and it is interesting to see how he will fit in with a Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis. With Curry and Thompson, Golden State now has two elite shooters on the outside. They should be a fun team to watch.
Time to go buy some Golden State gear (pending trades)!