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Thread: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

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    Post Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson
    Written by thunderbird1245

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    Back again today with my second draft analysis thread of 2011, this time of shooting guard Klay Thompson of Washington State. You can read my first thread of this season about Colorado wingman Alec Burks elsewhere on this site, as well as my player analysis threads from previous NBA drafts.

    Thompson is the son of former NBA big Mychal Thompson, who certainly provided many hoops highlights in his career for those of you old enough to remember him. His son Klay will likely get his chance to follow his Dad’s footsteps into the NBA, as he is projected currently as a mid first round selection. Unlike his father, Klay is only 6’7, 206 lbs, and has a thin wispy build reminiscent of several thin shooting guards who have graced NBA floors in the past. With a highly thought of game and an NBA pedigree, I was anxious to get a look at Thompson, and that is why I finished my analysis of him rather early in this process.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————— —–

    Thompson was the only real major weapon for Washington State, and their staff used him appropriately considering his skill set. Almost totally a catch and shoot type of wing guy, Thompson is a really good mover without the basketball, reading screens at a very high level, and using different speeds to set up his man for the various cuts needed to come off screens.

    Thompson has really good footwork, a sign of someone who has been very well coached throughout his life….which is what you would expect from a son of an NBA player. He is efficient in his steps regardless of the type of cut he makes, rarely wasting a step, and is able to get angles on his defenders quite often despite lacking in sheer quickness or athleticism. He is able to catch and square his shoulders as the ball is in flight to him, rather than waiting until he catches the pass to get ready to shoot…..that enables him to get his jump shot off even when closely guarded. He was a nearly 40% 3 point shooter in college despite being very closely guarded as their only real threat, and despite really lacking the ability to blow by people with the dribble.

    Thompson uses an array of shot fakes and jab steps to create space for himself….like Coach Knight I am a big fan of the perimeter shot fake, and therefore I liked watching Thompson throw defenders off balance by using them so frequently. He has a high smooth release* on his jumper, and with his size I don’t think he will have any major trouble getting his shot off once he gets open at the NBA level. For the most part he takes good shots, and unlike Alec Burks he does very well at normally getting himself squared up to shoot, again I give credit for that to his footwork and cutting ability as the ball is in flight to him.

    However, very good coaching and technique aside does not hide the fact that Thompson is a below average NBA athlete for his position. In fact, one of the reasons they had to screen for him so much at Washington State is that he struggled to get open on his own, lacking the explosive kinds of v-cuts and speed to be able to even get an entry pass without a screen. At the NBA level, if you are a wing player who has to get a screen to get open consistently, you had better be a dominant, deadeye, unbelievable shooter…….time will tell if Thompson can be that at the next level.

    As a ballhandler, Thompson is a one or 2 dribble guy it appears. He is not creative with the basketball either for himself or for others. He is not someone you can run isolations for, nor is he someone you can have as a ballhandler in a screen/roll situation I don’t believe. He has no positional versatility, he is strictly a wing. He plays below the rim on his drives, and though he is a very good foul shooter he likely will rarely actually get to the line.

    Basically, he is what he is offensively. A wing who can shoot the ball well, and who cuts efficiently to get open but needs help to make that happen. He isn’t a driver nor a player who can get his own shot, nor can he create shots for others.* He is a guy you can run plays for, or who you can use to space the floor for others. While he isn’t a great passer, he has some promise as a player who you could use to take the ball out of bounds in some situations, and he is a guy you’d play at the end of the game if you could offensively as he will be a steady hand at the foul line for you.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————— ——-

    We all have our own biases when we evaluate players. Some value shooting more than other do, others value size more than most, it just depends on our own point of view. Those who know me know I don’t like super small wings (wings in point guard bodies) usually, and I don’t like perimeter players who can’t guard. Unfortunately, Thompson falls into that latter category as a poor defending 2 man even at the college level.

    There is no question in my mind that Thompson will be a man you will have to try and hide defensively at the NBA level, and that teams will target to attack whenever possible. Against the dribble, Thompson stands up out of his stance when attacked, and is slow laterally anyway. As a coach, if you wanted to play Thompson bad enough you could scheme around him some by having him always play “half a man” on the perimeter (totally forcing him one direction into pre planned help) but he isn’t going to be good enough to just play heads up on someone decent and be able to stop him off the bounce.

    Thompson is too slow and weak fighting thru screens, as he lacks the defensive awareness and athleticism necessary to avoid being screened in the first place….he runs into alot of screens I think, which I think happens because he stays so close to his man away from the ball (knowing he lacks the recovery speed to play a step or 2 off)…..Thompson is easy to screen.

    And if he is ever posted up, he is too weak at this point to not give ground inside, and he lacks the quickness and lightness of foot to get off the ground and contest someone’s post move.

    So basically what I am saying is that I think he will be below average defensively against the dribble, against cutters, and against post ups…..basically he will be a gaping hole in your team defense that in order to play him, you will either have to be able to live with somehow or be able to cover up. To me, this means he will never be good enough to be an NBA starter unless surrounded by 4 top defenders at every other position….which rarely if ever happens.

    You’d think with his offensive ability that he’d be a good fit for a real up temp team, but I totally disagree with that. He needs to be able to find his niche with a halfcourt team that runs alot of set plays and that can hide him to a degree defensively.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————— ——-

    To me Thompson projects at best to be a 10-15 minute back up wing, maybe your 4th wing in a 4 wing rotation. His defensive limitations are severe enough to me that his offensive strengths don’t make up for them. Now, if he becomes better than I think he will be offensively and turns into Reggie Miller, or Rip Hamilton, or Ray Allen, then* he will be a net positive for you…..but I don’t see him being that level of good offensively either.

    Now, there are teams he could help as a designated shooter in spots. He’d be a nice fit I think for the Celtics at #25, possibly Oklahoma City at #24, or Miami maybe at the top of the second round at pick #31, all teams that his strengths could be hidden while his shooting ability could be used to relieve pressure off others. All those teams have high level defenders around him and have shot creators who could draw defenders to them and then dish to him spotting up.

    It is a testimony I think to the relative weakness of the wing group in this class that Thompson is unlikely to make it to the teams I just described above. Instead, I am 99% sure he will go in the top half of round one, perhaps even higher than that.* Even though I don’t see him as anywhere near good enough to be a top 10 pick, I can see the Milwaukee Bucks at pick #10 being a very good fit for him, and in fact that is where I think he is the most likely to end up.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————— ——-

    How would he fit for Indiana, and should we take him at #15 if he is there?

    In my view we need a ballhandler, and a man who can get his own shot to fit best as a 3rd wing, replacing in effect Mike Dunleavy with a younger, more athletic and dynamic player. At least, if we pick a wing that is what we need….and I simply don’t see Thompson as a particularly good fit with the skill sets of Paul George and/or Danny Granger.

    While I am sure many of you would like his professional stoic demeanor, the way he can shoot the rock coming off screens, and his high revving motor moving without the ball, to me his defensive shortcomings are too much to overcome for me to be in favor of his selection by Indiana at #15. I would pass and not give it a second thought, though I am sure many smart people can disagree.

    However even though I’d pass personally, I do think he will be under some consideration for Larry Bird if he is there, due to his ability to shoot, and his solid background as the son of an NBA champion player (albeit a Laker). Research tells me that he has one marijuana arrest in college, but I don’t necessarily think that is much of a red flag at this point. Still, I suspect the Pacers front office will in the end go in a different direction on draft night. We will see.

    As always, the above is just my opinion.

    Tbird


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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    I watched Klay play 10 times this year has some Rip Hamilton in him he would be a ok pick at #15 but i would be pissed if Jackson was still there and we take Klay over Jackson,. Only down side is his defense is absolutely terrible. But not very many people in the NBA play defense so he should fit right in.
    Last edited by pacer4ever; 05-24-2011 at 03:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    I get 2 post by thunderbird in one day. Sweet

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Thank you RoboHicks!

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Quote Originally Posted by pacer4ever View Post
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    I watched Klay play 10 times this year has some Rip Hamilton in him he would be a ok pick at #15 but i would be pissed if Jackson was still there and we take Klay over Jackson,. Only down side is his defense is absolutely terrible. But not very many people in the NBA play defense so he should fit right in.
    Do you think he is more of a JJ Redick type player minus the defense. Rips a pretty big comparison IMO.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamble1 View Post
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    Do you think he is more of a JJ Redick type player minus the defense. Rips a pretty big comparison IMO.
    no he isn't rip i said he has some rip in him BIG DIFFERENCElol. It is just the way he plays the game running off screens and that's the way he gets open and scores.(the same way reggie and rip played the game ) So ya accentualy he will be J.J Reddick maybe a bit more athletic but not much more. But his defense will be absolutely terrible he sucked at defense playing in the PAC 10 so it will only get worse when he deals with NBA rules and players.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    If his defense is that bad and his game is that one dimensional, I'd rather trade the pick, honestly. He's exactly the type of player I don't care for.

    Chad Ford's last mock draft had him listed as a PG??

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed View Post
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    If his defense is that bad and his game is that one dimensional, I'd rather trade the pick, honestly. He's exactly the type of player I don't care for.

    Chad Ford's last mock draft had him listed as a PG??
    Ya I have seen a couple of mocks listing him as a pg/sg. I say Pass.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamble1 View Post
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    Ya I have seen a couple of mocks listing him as a pg/sg. I say Pass.
    PG? lol he would suck at pg who list him at pg he has never played there. That mock needs to change his position. Wait Chad Ford list him at pg? no way he could ever play pg.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Quote Originally Posted by pacer4ever View Post
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    PG? lol he would suck at pg who list him at pg he has never played there. That mock needs to change his position. Wait Chad Ford list him at pg? no way he could ever play pg.
    How Ironic Draftexpress.com has him as our pick in thier mock draft

    http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Klay-Thompson-5490/
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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    How Ironic Draftexpress.com has him as our pick in thier mock draft

    http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Klay-Thompson-5490/
    Ya there is no way that Bird takes him over Jimmer.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamble1 View Post
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    Ya there is no way that Bird takes him over Jimmer.
    Oh please God no!!!

    If he takes Jimmer, yeah I will still be a fan, but man I will be even more pissed then when they made the Tyler Hansbrough selection
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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    DraftExpress says he's a jump shooter who is unathletic and plays bad defense. Reminds of someone that most people here want to get rid of...


    Grown Man Ball

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    How Ironic Draftexpress.com has him as our pick in thier mock draft

    http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Klay-Thompson-5490/
    Ya they list him at SG/SF where he should be. I liked watching him in college but i dont want to draft him.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Quote Originally Posted by SMosley21 View Post
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    DraftExpress says he's a jump shooter who is unathletic and plays bad defense. Reminds of someone that most people here want to get rid of...


    He really does play like Dunleavy comes off screens and is just basically a spot up shooter. But Dunleavy is a much better play maker than Klay right now at least.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    Oh please God no!!!

    If he takes Jimmer, yeah I will still be a fan, but man I will be even more pissed then when they made the Tyler Hansbrough selection
    You know you would be waiving 3 fingers every time Jimmer takes a long 3 in a Pacers uni.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Thompson is Downy Soft. Get outta here wit that weak stuff.

    Nice write up though.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    I don't like this guy at all, and like Tbird, I view him as late 1st round talent at best. I do hope he is drafted in the lottery so better players fall to us.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamble1 View Post
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    You know you would be waiving 3 fingers every time Jimmer takes a long 3 in a Pacers uni.
    LOL

    I never ever thought I would like the Tyler selection and damn near broke a 50' plasma on draft night

    Now, I hate to admit it , but Ty is probably my second favorite player on the team

    so yep anything is possible my friend

    at least thats what the IRS tells me
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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    I'm surprised by some of your comments about him guys... Everything I've seen of him screams ray allen-esque. Just a silky-smooth jumper with flawless and quick release and long arms to get over the top of defenders. I think hes better than what we give him credit for. Or dare I say Reggie Miller-esque? In the second video they mention how he beat Reggie Millers Pac10 record in points for a tournament game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmc14Vi8mik


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djehTM-u35I&NR=1
    Last edited by IndyProdigy; 05-25-2011 at 01:07 AM.
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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Quote Originally Posted by IndyProdigy View Post
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    I'm surprised by some of your comments about him guys... Everything I've seen of him screams ray allen-esque. Just a silky-smooth jumper with flawless and quick release and long arms to get over the top of defenders. I think hes better than what we give him credit for. Or dare I say Reggie Miller-esque? In the second video they mention how he beat Reggie Millers Pac10 record in points for a tournament game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmc14Vi8mik


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djehTM-u35I&NR=1
    ray allen, and reggie to an extent, could do much much more than just shoot. and ray ray was never the defensive hole klay projects to be.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Quote Originally Posted by IndyProdigy View Post
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    I'm surprised by some of your comments about him guys... Everything I've seen of him screams ray allen-esque. Just a silky-smooth jumper with flawless and quick release and long arms to get over the top of defenders. I think hes better than what we give him credit for. Or dare I say Reggie Miller-esque? In the second video they mention how he beat Reggie Millers Pac10 record in points for a tournament game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmc14Vi8mik


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djehTM-u35I&NR=1
    He did play like him in college but i dont think it will translate. Many high level scorers dont do anything in the NBA. Look at Reggie Williams in GS he was the leading scorer in the nation i really liked the kid in college but i dont think it will translate as well as you think. I think he will be a Kyle Korver type guy off the bench. Which is a guy every team could use but he isnt a guy i think we be a major guy in a rotation just a 10-20 min. rotation player. But if some way he improves his defense he could become more but i dont see that happening. I hope i am wrong for his sake but he should fill a role on and have a nice career but me nothing more than a spark off the bench. and a guy who can make a big shot..
    Last edited by pacer4ever; 05-25-2011 at 07:51 AM.

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    Red face Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    LOL

    I never ever thought I would like the Tyler selection and damn near broke a 50' plasma on draft night
    My god that is a big TV, I would think you needed a theater projector for that large of a screen.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramitt View Post
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    My god that is a big TV, I would think you needed a theater projector for that large of a screen.
    I have a "64" in in the living room it really is almost to big. It got stuck trying to get it into the room lol. Great for watching prize fight boxing though and Chicago Bears football. Pacers basketball looks pretty good also.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2011 NBA draft analysis #2: Klay Thompson

    64" is dinky next to 50'

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