Klay: Too smart for GSW’s own good?
Filed under: I did not like this pick.
Klay Thompson has been a high riser in the draft and it’s literally not hard to see why: The kid plays a beautiful game, he moves with a loping grace that conjures Brandon Roy memories, and the shot can get wetter than dying polar bears. Klay does this while making many a notable court-intelligent decision, choices that likely, heavily influenced Jerry West’s selection.
But, at a career 42.3 % NCAA field goal percentage, this is precisely what worries me about Thompson: He perhaps overachieves on guile and his statistical production could reflect guile’s limitations. The concern is that the Warriors drafted already-realized potential, as opposed to tapping a grower like Kawhi Leonard.
Credit where it’s due, Jerry West is indeed seeing something impressive–at least at the college level. Below, is a tangible example of Klay’s vaguely explained “high basketball IQ” (Thank you to Jim Barnett for highlighting this play). Thompson runs his man into a screen on what looks like a curl. Mid-jaunt, KT cuts in the opposite direction towards an open three. The defender is stuck moving around a screen for a curl that never comes.
Swoosh. It’s this kind of action that draws praise from film-gurus like Sebastian Pruiti. I’m equally impressed by his screen-usage, but more than happy to go negative with a positive: If Thompson is this smart, then why aren’t his numbers smarter? This kid certainly knows how to expertly use picks. I’m just not sure that means Golden State is equally good at it.
- What does this mean for Monta? It could mean nothing. Number 11 picks don’t usually become starters (Acie Law was picked at 11, for example).
- I’m less inclined to be reverent towards Jerry West than many out there. He’s had a great career, but the septuagenarian executive left Memphis in shambles. Sorry to be age-ist, but I like West better as a consultant than an ultimate decision-maker.
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