Klay Thompson, son of former NBA player Mychal Thompson, is one of the best shooters in the 2011 draft, if not the best. The junior, out of Washington State University, stands at 6 foot 7 inches and mans the shooting guard position. Thompson’s stock has been steadily rising since the combine, where his measurements showed him capable of playing the 3 at the NBA level.
Thompson, in his freshman season in College, made his name as one of the best shooters in the Pac-10 division. Over the next two years, Thompson showed notable improvement in the rest of his game as his scoring output increased every year. In his last year at Washington State he set the schools all time single season scoring record. Overall he posted a stat line of 21.6 ppg/ 5.2 rpg/ 3.7 ppg.
Klay finished the season amongst the top ten in the nation in scoring. He also broke two records in the 2011 Pac-10 tournament when he scored 43 points and 8 three pointers against Washington.
Scouting Report: Recently, when Thompson worked out for the Knicks, Donnie Walsh said to him that he reminded him of a young Reggie Miller. As one watches game tape of Klay it becomes clearly evident why Walsh made this comparison.
Thompson is one of the best shooters in the nation and has NBA range. He is also very skilled off the ball and makes excellent use of screens. Data from Synergy Sports Technology shows that Klay makes roughly half of his open jumpers where his beautiful shooting stroke is on full display. Klay also is comfortable with his ball handling as he can create his own shot and finish at the rim with either hand. Thompson also has a very good pump fake move, something that he can use at the next level to get to the line. Scouts also rave about his general feel for the game.
Thompson lacks athleticism and is considered an average athlete. He is also not exceptionally quick and at times can struggle to create his own shot against quick defenders. He is also a poor defender and must improve on this facet of his game to make it at the next level.
Judging The Fit: Like Jimmer Fredette, Thompson fits because of his shooting ability. The Knicks lack shooters and Thompson is one of the best available in the draft.
Klay is a defender that can stretch the opposing defense out and makes opposing defenses think twice before doubling. Additionally since he does not require the ball to score he would fit in well considering the Knicks already have two players that need the ball as it is.
The Verdict: I have many concerns about drafting Thompson. I do not believe it would be the smart move to draft Thompson when there are so many holes on the roster that need to be filled. He does nothing to cover the Knicks deficiencies in both rebounding and defense, do the Knicks really need more scoring?
Drafting Klay in my opinion would be a mistake. At 17 the Knicks must get a player who can either plug the whole at the 1 or 5, or who is exceptional on the defensive side of the ball like Chris Singleton.