Warriors Pick Klay Thompson

Thursday, Jun 23, 2011  |  Updated 5:43 PM PDT
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Warriors Pick Klay Thompson

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The Warriors, with the 11th pick in the NBA draft lottery, picked Klay Thompson.

The Golden State Warriors had the 11th pick in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft today.

The team chose Klay Thompson from Washington State University.

Thompson might not be a transcendent prospect, but he's exceptionally good at one thing that's severely lacking from most perimeter players in this draft class - putting the ball in the basket.

The son of former NBA big man Mychal Thompson, Klay was the 12th-leading scorer in the nation as a junior, regaining the shooting touch that somewhat abandoned him as a sophomore at Washington State.

Thompson isn't quite the shooter Jimmer Fredette is, but he's not far off, and unlike the national player of the year, Thompson has ideal size to be an NBA shooting guard. He lacks explosive athleticism from the position but is certainly passable, and can create his own shot off the dribble when necessary.

Thompson has a good handle for an NBA two and is a good passer with a very high basketball IQ. He's far from a perfect prospect, though.

Thompson needs to rein himself in sometimes, as he likely won't be the go-to scorer at the next level that he was at Washington State. That means avoiding occasional bouts of selfishness and improving his shot selection.

Thompson's biggest problem is at the defensive end, where he struggles to stay in front of most perimeter players and doesn't always fight hard through screens and pick-and-rolls. He's reminiscent in some ways of Rockets guard Kevin Martin, but one of the reasons Martin is such a good scorer is his willingness to go into the lane and get to the free-throw line.

If Thompson can become 75 percent the scorer Martin is, he'll make an NBA team very happy. With the dearth of talent this year at the shooting guard position, it's possible Thompson could go as early as midway through the first round.

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