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Pacers' Draft Possibilities: Klay Thompson

With the Draft Lottery complete, the Early Entry List set, the NBA Draft fast approaching, it's time to examine more in depth some of the players who could be available for the Pacers. Over the next few weeks I'll be trying to put together as many profiles as possible. Instead of identifying players as specific targets for either Pacers' pick, I'm just going to cover a pool of players I think are possibilities. You'll find some players who the Pacers would likely have to trade up or down for. I've also expressed my opinion that the Pacers need to be focused on talent as much as fit, so players at all five positions will be included.

These profiles are not intended to advocate for one player over another, just examine their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss in some detail what they have to offer. For each profile I provided Ten Important Statistics to guide the discussion. Today we'll be looking at:

Klay Thompson - SG/SF - 6'7"  206 lbs. - Washington State University 

Ten Important Stats - Klay Thompson






















Current DraftExpress Projection: Round 1, Pick #15


  • Finds scoring opportunities without dominating the ball
  • Excellent shooter spotting up and coming off screens
  • Makes solid decisions with the ball and finds opening to attack the basket even without elite athleticism or ball-handling skills
  • Can find the open man and make solid passes within an offensive framework


  • An average athlete, he is often exploited defensively by quicker players
  • A high volume scorer in college, his skills and athleticism may limit him to a complimentary role in the NBA
  • Although he improved significantly last season, he displayed very questionable shot selection his first two seasons in college
  • Has displayed inconsistent effort on the defensive end


With his highly developed perimeter skill set and feel for the game, Thompson could contribute early in his career, and probably doesn't have a significant upside beyond what he is now due to his physical limitations. There's no guarantee he seamlessly makes the role to being a lesser scoring option, however, and he will need to stay away from the bad habits he had earlier in his college career, something being drafted onto a winning team with strong coaching would definitely help avoid.

- Joseph Treutlein,

Hickory High Comparables:

How he can help the Pacers:

  • One of the Pacers' most pressing needs this summer is an offensive upgrade. On one hand, Thompson is a potent scorer - an accurate jumpshooter, with a developing dribble-drive game. On the other hand, Thompson duplicates much of what the Pacers' offense already has. What he can provide the Pacers in the short-term is very similar to what they got from Mike Dunleavy last year. Drafting Thompson will still leave them without a go-to wing scorer who can create his own shot. There aren't very many players who fit that description likely to be available when the Pacers are drafting. Thompson would be a solid addition to the Pacers rotation, but still not address their greatest weakness.