#11: Klay Thompson
With the eleventh overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors selected Klay Thompson. Many teams fell in love with Thompson throughout the draft process, and he was the top player on Golden State’s board. Thompson is widely regarded as one of the best shooters in the draft class.
“It’s really humbling, just because I know how good the organization of the Warriors is and I can tell they are going in the right direction,” Thompson said. “I’ve been watching basketball all my life, especially growing up in California. Just so thankful for this opportunity, I can’t describe it. I can’t wait to go up there and play for Coach Jackson; he’s going to be demanding but he’s going to get the most out of it.”
Golden State desperately wanted to draft a shooter and couldn’t be happier with the Thompson selection. Even with so much movement around the pick No. 11, the Warriors were still able to land their top player. Thompson is excited to play alongside Stephen Curry.
“I’m extremely excited about it, because I see him play a lot and that kid can pass the ball,” Thompson said. “With us in the backcourt and me on the wing, I just think we’ll be able to space the floor so well together, because you both shoot that ball. I’m excited to get up there and play with a point guard like him, because he has a good knowledge of the game and I know he’ll get the most out of me, so I’m excited.“
Last season at Washington State, Thompson averaged 21.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Coming into this process, he was believed to be a late first round pick, but climbed draft boards with a number of excellent workouts in recent weeks.
Several teams – including the San Antonio Spurs– considered moving up to select Thompson, but their efforts came up short.
“I think, you know, there’s room for improvement for me, but I’ve worked really hard my three years at Washington State and I think I just bring a big off‑guard at 6‑7 with his length that can even guard point guards at times, if I keep working on my foot speed.So just try to use my length to try to bother those smaller 2‑guards in the league, so I’ll keep working with that,” Thompson said.
While the Warriors see Thompson as a shooting guard, sources close to the organization insists that this doesn’t mean a Monta Ellis trade is imminent. They just feel that Thompson was the best player on the board and fills a need because he’s a top-notch shooter.