Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Klay Thompson

We know the Pistons don’t necessarily need shooting guard help. But if Rip Hamilton is shopped aggressively as expected and eventually moved, the Pistons suddenly have a very small backcourt. Washington State’s Klay Thompson could provide a remedy to that.

Info

Measurables: 6-foot-6, 202 pounds,  junior G from Washington State

Key stats: 21.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.7 blocks per game while shooting 44 percent and 39 percent from three

Projected: Late first/Early second round

How would he help the Pistons?

Thompson has been projected to go as high as the early 20s in the draft, but he could also slip into the early second round where the Pistons pick. He does a few things well: he’s a very good perimeter shooter, he moves the ball well in a halfcourt offense and he’s an above average rebounder for a guard. Plus with his size and strength, he could potentially become a tough matchup for smaller opposing shooting guards if he’s able to develop a better mid-range or back-to-the-basket game that would allow him to take more advantage of mismatches.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

As with any wing player the Pistons considered, Thompson would have problems finding minutes if the Pistons aren’t able to make a roster move or two that thins out the team’s abundance of perimeter players. Thompson is only an average athlete, so if the Pistons take him, there would be concerns about his ability to stay in front of opposing shooting guards at the NBA level. His range and size make him intriguing, but minus improved lateral quickness, his future would more likely be as a reserve than a starting caliber player.

What are others saying?

From DraftExpress:

On the defensive end, Thompson’s problems are still largely the same, and he’ll always be at a disadvantage athletically, not having the foot speed to stay in front of most NBA-caliber athletes consistently. His effort level on this end of the floor has improved throughout his three years in school, and he does do a good job using his length to compensate for some of his other shortcomings, but this is still an area he needs to continue working on. His problems are even more pronounced in pick-and-rolls and when coming off screens, as once his defender has a half-step on him he has little chance of recovering from behind.

From ESPN:

He (Thompson) showed in the workout that he is more athletic than people give him credit for. He’s not an elite athlete such as Alec Burks or Travis Leslie, but he’s going to be quick enough to excel at the 2-spot. Given his elite shooting ability, ballhandling and basketball IQ, he’s the most complete 2-guard prospect in the draft.

From The Dagger:

I don’t know about his character. I know he’s had a couple issues here and there. But as far as him as a player, he’s got great size, he can make shots, you can run him off screens. I think he’s a kid that will go 20 to 35. I’m really a big fan of his. You can run him off screens for days. He can space your defense out. He can drive on long closeouts. He’s a good player, a very good player.

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