Speculations flood the summer, with playful arguments between sports minds adding pressure to the levee. Their predictions are only positive and negative as neutrality is not a line that sports analysts choose to walk. Immediately following this year’s draft, College Basketball guru, Dickie V, tagged Klay Thompson as an NBA ready ball player. So, what’s left to do but speculate?
Dick Vitale has earned respect over the years, predicting players like Ben Gordon and Devin Harris to be contributors on an NBA squad. If Gordon could get out of the Pistons chokehold, he may return to the form he was in when he played for the Chicago Bulls. The 2009 quarterfinals between the Bulls and Celtics resonates with fans, thanks to Gordon. Let’s see if Dickie V.’s 2011 picks come to fruition as well.
General Manager, Larry Riley, gave Jerry West’s prospect, Klay, a vote of confidence, tooting about his ability to “play as a rookie and make a contribution to this basketball team”. Warriors fans must like that Thompson spent 3 years at Washington State, improving on his ability to score and create plays. Let’s hope that maturity or another citation for marijuana possession doesn’t stop him from getting to the rim this year.
Thompson grew up in a culture saturated with basketball, which may have subliminal effects on his performance in the league. Having access to superstars like Clyde Drexler and Rasheed Wallace as a child sure can’t hurt. If he starts picking up technical fouls every game, then the contact with ‘Sheed will be questioned. Klay’s father, Mychal Thompson, spent over a decade in the league, playing most of his years with the Blazers and Lakers. At age 24, Mychal proved he was ready to contribute during his rookie campaign, averaging 14.7 points per game. Let’s not forget that his mother, Julie, played as a USF volleyball setter.
The Thompson’s are undoubtedly talented with two of his brothers excelling in baseball and basketball. According to Klay’s high school basketball coach, Jerry DeBusk, Klay is “quiet and respectful” and never bragged about his father’s achievements as a pro, earning two NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Klay looks to join a backcourt that will give him relief duties, but also a chance to play alongside Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis. Klay may not reach his father’s rookie average if the Warriors intend to keep Monta Ellis in town. That’s not saying that Monta will hurt his potential, Klay just has to prove his worth to inspire an Ellis trade. In the meantime, Klay is there to provide the depth needed to bring the Warriors to the next level.
Many scouting reports on Klay have praised his high basketball IQ and ability to shoot from the perimeter. After Klay worked out with the Warriors prior to the draft he reiterated what scouts have been saying all along.
“I don’t think I’m a guy you can leave open that much on the perimeter. So I’d be great at spacing the floor and giving those guys a lot more opportunities to create”, Thompson stated.
While his attributes will be a perfect complement to David Lee’s above average passing game, scouts aren’t too sure about his lateral speed and ability to defend the plethora of explosive guards in the NBA. As for my speculation, I see Klay Thompson as Brandon Roy lite for now.
About the Author
Written by Chris Mosca
Basketball lover for years. I blog for the Golden State Warriors. I am happy to serve the fans with my reports and insights. Follow me on twitter, @cwmosca