Draft Riser: Klay Thompson, Washington State Shooting Guard
It's not a secret that this draft lacks superstar talent, but in the end of the lottery until the beginning of the first round, there are some intriguing players with potential to fill spots in the long-run or jump in right away as a complementary player. One of these players is Klay Thompson, the shooting guard from Washington State, who has been steadily rising into the middle of the first round. A few weeks ago, I would have said that Thompson is likely late-first round pick because of his off-the-court troubles (possession of marijuana), but Thompson's one-on-one interviews and workouts have been going extremely well since then. He apologized to Cougar fans before WSU's game against UCLA (when he was suspended), by taking the microphone and announcing his sympathies. Thompson has been taking a step forward in team interviews as well, admitting to his mistake trying to move forward.
Personal issues aside, the Pac-10's leading scorer and son of former NBA player Mychal Thompson, is the best perimeter scorer in the draft and lethal from behind the 3-point arc. He'd be an excellent fit for any team as he can space the floor with his deep range, but he also has the ability to put the ball on the floor to create his own shot. And in addition to his scoring, Thompson possesses great court vision and instincts to hit the open man.
Thompson's stock is on the rise so much so that Milwaukee and Golden State are considering him as high as No. 10 and 11, but he is more likely to go mid-first to Indiana, who could use a perimeter shooter to complement Darren Collison and Danny Granger, or New York at No. 17 who could be used to take pressure of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.