The Golden State Warriors used their 11th overall pick in the draft to take Washington State guard Klay Thompson.
Thompson is a shooting guard with great size at 6'7 who can possibly play small forward as well. Along with Jimmer Fredette, Thompson is among the best pure shooters in this year's draft class.
His jump shot works best off the pick and roll, but can also shoot off screens and spot-ups as well. Like Warriors two starters at guard, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, Thompson is a great finisher and can get to the basket if he wants to.
However, also like Ellis and Curry, Thompson has been criticized for his poor defensive play and lack of hustle to get back on defense.
Thompson would match well up well together with either Ellis or Curry at point, since Ellis and Curry are both smaller guards. If Thompson can develop his defense, the Warriors could have a star on their hands forming a tandem with the guards.
Although the Warriors gave every indication before the draft they were enamored with Thompson, drafting him nonetheless puts scrutiny on the status of Monta Ellis.
Adding Thompson gives the Warriors huge depth at the guard position, but they still lack quality players at center and small forward. Andris Biedrins has the big contract, but he hasn't been a good center in the league for two years.
Former All-star David Lee was a liability for the Warriors on defense, so the Warriors desperately needed to add a center.
Unfortunately, there was a run on the top big men in this year's draft with centers or power forwards being taken with five of the first seven picks.
Since the Warriors have so much depth at the guard position, it makes natural sense for them to trade one of their guards for a quality center who can defend and rebound.
Trade rumors have been swirling around Monta Ellis.
Prior to the draft, four rumors stood out. First, Ellis, Biedrins, and Ekpe Udoh were offered to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard. Second, Ellis was offered to the 76ers for Andre Iguodala. Third, Ellis was talked about in a three-way trade with the Lakers, Bulls which would net them Lamar Odom and Joakim Noah. Finally, just before the draft, Ellis was offered to the Timberwolves for their number two pick which they used to draft Derrick Williams.
With the drafting of Klay Thompson, these trade rumors will no doubt continue.
Ellis appears to be a natural two guard, one of the five best in the NBA, according to Warriors GM Larry Riley. Curry would be the keeper as the younger talent with limitless potential and his ability to run the offense.
It remains to be seen what the Warriors will do in the coming NBA season. Perhaps new coach Mark Jackson will try out all three guards, find the best combination, and trade the one that doesn't work out.
In the meantime, Warriors management are elated with the pick of Thompson.
We've said before that we like him as a shooter, as an athlete and a basketball player, Riley said. This guy has a great future ahead of him.