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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.


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.

Hickory High’s Similarity Scores



  • May 9, 20119:51 am
    by LEVI



  • May 9, 201110:31 am
    by Marvin Jones


    I don’t think the Pistons need to draft a guard at 33 considering that they drafted Terrico White last year at 36 and they were high on him then. He would have a leg up on any new draftee since he’s been with the team a whole year, went thru summer league and even got some practices in after he recovered from his injury. With no summer league any new draft pick will be behind the curve.  With White being just like a new player the Pistons need to go big with their first two picks  

    • May 9, 20111:32 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      I don’t want to get into the Terrico debate again other than to reiterate that an overwhelming majority of second round picks, even ones with upside like White, get a second season on a roster. White could be back next season, but if the Pistons feel like they can draft a better player in round two this year, and Thompson may very well be a better player (remember, White still has to learn to be a PG since he played a lot of SG in college), White is more than expendable right now. I’m not saying he won’t get looks elsewhere. He’s an intriguing prospect. But no one should think White on the roster next season is a foregone conclusion.

      • May 9, 20117:23 pm
        by Marvin Jones


        And what makes Thompson a better player, White had a summer league and practice time with the team, unless he clearly disappointed what possibly could Thompson have done in college to make him the better player. I did not say it was a foregone conclusion, I merely asked the question why draft another guard in the 2nd rd when we still have last yrs 2nd rd pick that we dont know enough about. There was a reason he was drafted last year, so you’re saying because of the injury now just discard him and draft another guard who will have no summer league to be looked at so he will clearly be behind where White is now. The Pistons have a lot of needs and dumping White for another instriguing prospect is crazy, he’s a more known comodity than Thompson. To me it doesn’t makes sense to just give up on the guy because of an injury and spend another draft pick on a similiar player. Also he’s a combo guard, he can play PG or SG. 

        • May 10, 20119:22 am
          by Patrick Hayes


          I’m not at all saying they should definitely just discard White. I’m saying if they find a guard in the second round who their scouts grade out higher than they graded White last year, then White’s presence shouldn’t stop them from taking that player.

          I understand White’s physical tools. He’s as good an athlete as the Pistons have had in the backcourt. But the fact is, the odds of him becoming a good player are against him. A very small percentage of second round picks pan out. It just doesn’t make sense to consider him a lock for the roster at this point.

  • May 9, 201110:54 am
    by Stephen


    Every clip I see of him just reminds me of Kevin Martin. Don’t know if that’s a good thing or not :)

    • May 9, 20111:34 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      I would definitely take Kevin Martin in the second round. I don’t know if Thompson is that good, but he’d be tremendous value for anyone who takes in late first/early second if he’s anywhere near as good as Martin.

  • May 9, 201111:56 am
    by BIG MARV


    No thanks i’ll pass because it also determines if you resign stuckey. If you resign him you have to put him at SG and I think it wont be a undersize front court if you put him at the SG then you have gordon backing him up. Just draft your PG and try to get thr best Avalable big man in the second rd NO MORE WING MEN!

    • May 9, 20111:30 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      There is one, maybe two, pure PGs in this draft who is ready to step in and start. Unless the Pistons get the top pick, Stuckey is going to come back as the point guard next season.

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