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The 2011 NBA Draft is in the books after Thursday night's festivities in Newark, New Jersey. It wasn't the most star studded of drafts, but there was still plenty of intrigue and interest around the event in the wake of this year's scintillating NBA season and playoffs. There seems to be mixed reaction to how the Golden State Warriors fared. SB Nation's Tom Ziller hated the Warriors' selections and gave Larry Riley and Jerry West's a 'D' grade. Chad Ford of ESPN was a bit more kind, handing out a 'B' for the Warriors draft, primarily beacuse of the potential of the team's two second round picks, Charles Jenkins and Jeremy Tyler.
Ziller's main criticism was that despite being an undeniably great shooter, Thompson still doesn't help address the Warriors' biggest flaw: defensive ineptitude. Well, Thompson may not be a lockdown defender in any sense of the word, but at 6'7" and 202 pounds, he's not cut from the same cloth as Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, two undersized, guards who struggle guarding the league's bigger and more talented 1 and 2 guards.
What I haven't heard anybody really discuss though is how Mark Jackson may very well institute a more deliberate, half-court brand of basketball than has been played by the Warriors in recent memory. Of course, the team will still run so long as it is constructed the way it is. But having played for Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy in New York, there's no question that Jackson is going to put a much stronger emphasis on playing quality, team defense. And he'll go about doing that partly by slowing things down offensively. At least I think he will.
If so, Thompson doesn't become 'just another scorer' like Ziller and others seem to believe. He becomes an integral, half court asset that can do some things offensively that Ellis and Curry can't do as effectively -- namely, get his shot off in a variety of ways outside of simple isolation plays or transition opportunities. Thompson is hands-down the best pick-and-roll shooting guard in this year's draft. I know that had to be attractive to West, Riley and Jackson when determining just how valuable Thompson might be in a new-look Warriors system. He shoots well spotting up as well as coming off screens, so I think his game is going to allow Golden State to recalibrate its style a bit this next few years in a way that leads to better defensive efficiency while not totally compromising its ability to score in bunches. We'll see.
Changing gears, let's hear from Thompson, who joined Into The Night With Tony Bruno on Thursday night after being drafted 11th overall (interview begins at 30:40 mark). In the brief chat, Thompson talked about whether he had any sense that he'd be taken by GS so high in the first round, his solid basketball pedigree as Mychael Thompson's son, whether he's had a chance to talk to new head coach Mark Jackson, being excited to play in his native California, and when he first thought that his game might be NBA-ready.
If he felt the Warriors at number 11 were a realistic landing spot:
"I thought I’d be in that area and I thought this was a perfect fit for me just with the style of play the Warriors play and the new direction that this organization is going, I think I can be a great asset to this team. Being a California kid I couldn’t be more excited to move back home."
What message Mark Jackson gave him after being drafted:
"I talked to him briefly after I got drafted. He just told me to enjoy this process and enjoy the night. We didn’t really talk basketball, we just talked about what was going through my mind. He was grateful to have me here. I was just happy to talk to him and get his blessings. I knew he thought highly of me. I’m very excited to get to know the guys up there and the whole organization."
When he felt he was ready to be an NBA player:
"Probably coming into this year. I felt like I was ready and I felt like I was one of the better players in the Pac-10, if not the country, at my position. I just felt like I knew I could come in and make some noise this year in the Pac-10. Each year at Washington State I added a new dimension to my game and I felt like I was finally ready to make that jump for my dreams. It’s crazy how they can find you nowadays. Even being in Pullman I got a lot of love from GM’s and scouts. I’m very grateful that they made that trip out. It’s not an easy trip and I just really appreciated that."
When we try to get to know someone, it usually helps to know a bit about where they come from and what they've been through. And when it comes to the Golden State Warriors' Charles Jenkins, it's easy to see why his character is so strong and he is so determined to be in the NBA. True Hoop's Henry Abbott got the chance to hang with Jenkins before the draft began Thursday and talked about the things that have shaped him into who he is today.
When Jenkins was in the eighth grade his older brother Kareem was murdered in Brooklyn, something that shook Jenkins to the core and put things into a different perspective for him from at an early age. Jenkins talks about how nothing mattered for a time afterward, eventually getting kicked out of school because he grades were so poor. Jenkins takes Abbot to the 'school that took a chance on him' after his brother passed, and how he turned it all around at Springfield Gardens High School in New York.
Jenkins had a lot to say about how his brother motivates him to make it in the NBA, and I'm sure he'd be nothing but proud of his little brother for his accomplishments.
TrueHoop TV With Charles Jenkins (via ESPN)
For those of you who haven't seen much of Klay Thompson's game in person or on video, you're in for a real treat. Back in March during the 2011 Pac-10 basketball tournament at the Staples Center Klay went off for Washington State against their rival Washington Huskies for 43 points in regulation, setting a new single game scoring record for the tournament. Here's the video of it, and gives you a good feel about what he brings to the table with the Golden State Warriors.
If you watch him for a couple of series, you can see how he can score in a variety of ways. He's got a great stroke, can get to the rim if need be, and just had that sort of killer instinct this game that hopefully will translate into his game in the NBA. Take a look for yourself, very impressive performance.
Klay Thompson of Washington State U - Record 43 Points - Pac10 Tournament 2011 (via argus1948)
Klay Thompson and Jeremy Tyler seems to be polar opposites. One is (relatively) polished and one needs to be polished with buckets of wax. Do these contradictory moves make any sense? With the new Warriors regime in place, the Warriors future has never been this crystal clear.
With all of the excitement surrounding the new and hopefully improved Golden State Warriors some fans believe that this is the year the W's really start putting together a great team. Others, not so much. SB Nation's Tom Ziller had little to say about the Warriors draft choices that was positive, giving them a D+ for taking Klay Thompson, Charles Jenkins and Jeremy Tyler. Let's take a closer look at what he had to say about it.
Here's Ziller's synopsis of Klay Thompson:
Synopsis: Thompson will add some shooting to a team that finished middle of the pack in three-point efficiency. That's cool! Unfortunately, offense is not really Golden State's problem: the team finished No. 12 in offensive efficiency ... and No. 26 on defense. Thompson is currently a minus defender, and if he's playing next to Stephen Curry in a post-Monta Ellis reality, that's an awful porous backcourt.
The fact that Thompson was seemingly Jerry West's guy for a while before the draft probably says a lot about how much merit the team puts into the opinion of Mr. Logo. He has a great eye for talent, and I'm not the one who's going to second guess Jerry West, but Ziller does have a point. Defense is the number one priority if this team is going to progress, and they didn't look to draft for much of it.
As for Jenkins and Tyler, here's how Ziller feels about it:
Jenkins is a nice player -- Black Jimmer, according to some -- that fills in another backcourt slot currently overcrowded with scorers. A $2-million flyer on Tyler is like a $2 million craps role. Good luck.
Well when you put it that way...
The '$2 million craps roll' is rather true, but think about how much cash you'd win if you hit your number on that roll! That's how I feel about Tyler, he could be a steal if he produces at all. As for Jenkins, the whole 'black jimmer' thing I'm not to sure about, but I think all of these guys will play a part in a bigger plan at work with the W's. Everyone knew Golden State needed size, but didn't get much of it. To me that says their trying to trade for some bulk instead of draft some and wait for production (i.e. Ekpe Udoh).
The 2011 NBA Draft is complete and the Chad Ford has handed out his grades for each team's draft. Ford gave the Sacramento Kings an A and he gave the Golden State Warriors a B. In looking at his analysis, it might be a little difficult to reconcile his Kings grade. He loves the draft picks but hated the trade that the Kings made to move back in the draft. It's a tough comment to make given that they needed to unload Udrih to get Fredette, although he does think Fredette could work as a bench spark plug:
Jimmer Fredette was the perfect fit on a team that needed his shooting ability. (I would say the same thing if the Kings would've stayed at No. 7 and taken Fredette.) At a minimum, Fredette will come in and be a sharpshooting sparkplug off the bench, but he could be much more.
As for the remaining picks:
I like the Tyler Honeycutt pick, as well. Honeycutt has a lot of untapped talent, a high basketball IQ and good passing ability, which should allow him to stick in the league.
Isaiah Thomas has value as the No. 60 pick -- he's tough, he can get to the basket and he can play the point.
In assessing the Warriors draft, Chad Ford gave the Ws a B for their selections of Klay Thompson, Jeremy Tyler and Charles Jenkins. He didn't go higher because he believed there were players with higher ceilings the Warriors could have grabbed with the 11th pick of the draft. He likes Thompson's ability to shoot the ball, which is the same reason Jerry West and Larry Riley settled in on Thompson from the get-go.
As for the other two Warriors picks:
I did really like their second-round selection of Charles Jenkins, who can be a major scoring threat off the bench. Their other second-rounder, Jeremy Tyler, has lottery size and talent ... but is he mature enough to handle the rigors of the NBA? He's going to be a project.
For more discussion and analysis of the Warriors, head on over to Golden State of Mind to get in on the action.
Like I said earlier, there's isn't that much wrong with how the Sacramento Kings performed in the 2011 NBA Draft. They acquired solid players in areas of need, they got the player most of them wanted to get, and did nothing out of the ordinary. You'd figure they'd get a B grade or something nondescript.
Well, that's not how it turned out for them because of what happened outside the picks. Tom Ziller, SB Nation NBA writer and Sactown Royalty editor, had this to say about the performance of the Kings last night.
Synopsis: The Kings traded Udrih, an affordable point guard with two years left on his deal, for Salmons, an underachieving wing on a bad three-year deal. The problem: the Kings traded down three picks for the honor. It made no sense when the Kings pulled the trigger, and it makes no sense now. The explanation will be that Salmons is solid and a better fit given the Fredette pick. But the Kings traded Salmons two years ago in a cap dump. He's older, worse and more expensive now. He can't be that good.
Fredette's a fit, so long as we're ignoring defense. Are we ignoring defense? OK, then. The Jimmer is a good fit.
Honeycutt was a steal at No. 35, and Thomas can make an impact from the No. 60 spot. But the Kings could have taken all of those players and Fredette without the needless, counterproductive Salmons-Udrih deal. The Kings tried to sort out a logjam on draft day, and failed.
You have to admit the whole situation is strange. Salmons does bring some things to the table, but the Kings have already danced with him once, and it was far from a beautiful union (there were no tears shed when he left). Why not keep working on a deal that gets you younger players on a young team and have them grow as a group? Salmons is another stopgap who won't be around long enough to have a discernible impact on this team.
Still, despite all that, Salmons does become the team's best option at the three (particularly his versatility in guarding multiple positions), and will probably be starting the opening night of next season. He gives the Kings a movable trading piece in Omri Casspi, and Sacramento can hopefully use that to shore up either the power forward or point guard position.
How do you grade the draft of the Kings? Let us know in the comments!
The Golden State Warriors made their way through the 2011 NBA Draft and made some interesting choices that could establish some solid depth to the roster. There were question marks around the selection of Klay Thompson but the Warriors seem to like the fact that he is a serious scoring threat. Charles Jenkins could prove to be the backup point guard the team has been missing for some time. And Jeremy Tyler is a raw project with a ton of upside (and plenty of bust potential).
Over at Golden State of Mind, Warriors fans have been voting on draft grades since the end of the draft. Thus far the highest percentage belongs to a grade of B, but a sizable minority have gone with an A. The numbers will change, but as of this writing, three-quarters of voters give the Warriors either an A or a B.
Although Jenkins and Tyler could prove quite valuable for the Warriors, much of this draft will revolve around the kind of role Klay Thompson takes on as a rookie and beyond. Unfortunately, much of that will depend on how the Warriors deal with Monta Ellis. Thompson is a guard who could fit in well with one of the two Warriors backcourt contingent, but not both. You could almost justify giving this pick an incomplete in that sense. At the same time, if Thompson can provide some big scoring off the bench as a rookie, maybe it justifies a B grade at this point. Imagine the small lineup the Warriors could produce with Ellis, Curry and Thompson?
In looking at the Charles Jenkins pick, I'd argue it is no worse than a B. I believe Jay Bilas called him a poor man's Jimmer Fredette. Even without that kind of projection, a solid backup point guard can be hard to find and if the Warriors can turn a second round pick into such a reserve this pick could prove to be a home run.
As for Tyler, he definitely personifies an incomplete grade. He has a huge amount of upside, but there is also a good chance he's a bust. The Warriors made a calculated gamble in buying the Bobcats pick. They've been looking for a legit big man for some time now (sorry Andris Biedrins, you don't count after this past season). If Tyler pans out, this could turn into the Warriors best pick. It will be fun to see how Tyler develops under new head coach Mark Jackson.
For more discussion and analysis of the Warriors, head on over to Golden State of Mind to get in on the action.
Day one of the 2011 NBA Draft is now in the books and the Golden State Warriors have made their picks and then some. Not only did they get their two picks they also bought themselves another, giving them a total of three new Warriors after day one. Let's take a closer look at the trio of youngsters that hopefully can help make this team a winner.
Klay Thompson- SG, Washington State: Not only did this kid set the Pac-10 scoring record in one game last season at WSU, he may also be the eventual replacement for Monta Ellis. When that time may come no one is really sure, but it is a lot more likely that Ellis will be gone sooner than later with Thompson on the team.
Charles Jenkins- PG- Hofsta University: A great fill-in type guy at the guard position, Jenkins has been compared by some to the Kings' Jimmer Fredette. He, like Thompson, can make it rain from all over the place, and shows serious grit and tenacity on the floor. But how much defense can he play?
Jeremy Tyler- PF- San Diego, CA: One of the biggest indications that the W's want to surround their current team with talent is the acquisition of Tyler. The W's dropped $2 million to buy his rights from the Bobcats, and could pay serious dividends to the team if he produces. He has a bit of a iffy background that paints him as an immature person, but we'll have to wait and see on that.
If we talk essentially about how the draft portion of the 2011 NBA Draft went (redundant? Yeah, but you don't know the half of it.), the Sacramento Kings did just fine. They shored up positions of need at point guard and small forward, plus added more scoring options on a team that struggled to generate offense at times last season. They look stronger on paper than they did last season, and these picks can contribute in minor, even major ways to keep the trend upward in the California state capital.
The 2011 NBA Draft is now complete and the Golden State Warriors once again are already getting less than stellar grades for their first round pick. The Warriors used the eleventh overall pick to select Klay Thompson out of Washington State in a pick that wasn't completely panned, but left some fans shaking their head when a talent like Kawhi Leonard remained on the board.
NBA Draft grades will be rolled out over the next few days and as with any draft grades, they have to be taken with a huge grain of salt. After all, a lot of players will take multiple years to really develop the talents they have. For the Warriors, a guy like Klay Thompson is tough to grade right now because as more or less a shooting guard, barring a trade anytime soon, he'll be playing behind the Monta Ellis-Stephen Curry guard combination. If the Warriors wait to deal Monta during or after the coming season, Thompson could spend a whole lot of time coming off the bench. It might be a benefit long term, but draft grades often look for more immediate tangible results.
We'll have more draft grades in the coming days, but for now, CBS Sports' Dave Del Grande gave an "instant grade" of C to the pick of Thompson:
The perennial losers had a choice between a starting forward (Kawhi Leonard) and a backup guard. Not surprisingly, they made the head-scratcher.
Del Grande was much more pleased with the Warriors second round pick of Charles Jenkins. The Warriors had a serious issue of not having a legit backup point guard in 2010-2011, so Jenkins could fill that role. Del Grande gave the Ws a B for the pick:
No doubt one of the first questions Jerry West asked after joining the organization was: Why didn't you carry a legitimate backup point guard on the roster last season? It's a question that no longer can be asked.
As for the Jeremy Tyler pick that the Warriors acquired? Well he gives the original Bobcats pick an F so I'm not sure he's much of a fan of the Warriors decision to give the Bobcats some serious coin for it. It's a long term decision and I think Ws fans are at least intrigued by it. I'd say it's probably better served as an incomplete.
Having dealt one headache (Stephen Jackson), clearly Michael Jordan decided he had roster space for another one. Only this one has less than half the talent.
For more discussion and analysis of the Warriors, head on over to Golden State of Mind to get in on the action.
The Sacramento Kings wrapped up the 2011 NBA Draft by taking a player many speculated would drop to them, Washington Huskies point guard Isaiah Thomas. Thomas provides the Kings some nice point guard depth now that Beno Udrih is gone, although Sacramento probably needs to find another starting #1 unless they really plan on putting Tyreke Evans back at the point.
Thomas is certainly undersized, but he has solid speed and has proven he can finish in the paint. He's good at scoring at many spots on the floor. Thomas has also proven that he can adjust and adapt year-by-year, improving from his freshman season to becoming a solid producer (perhaps second best only to Derrick Williams in the conference) in the Pac-10. Thomas could very well become to the Kings what J.J. Barea was to the Dallas Mavericks--a small but speedy guard that flusters other teams off the bench.
Kings fans, do you like the Thomas pick? Let us know in the comments, and further discuss the pick at Sactown Royalty!
The Sacramento Kings were apparently thoroughly convinced they needed to upgrade at the small forward position, believing that Omri Casspi and Francisco Garcia wouldn't be enough. First they acquired the rights to John Salmons, which gives them a legitimate starter at the three (whether Kings fans like him or not). And now, UCLA forward Tyler Honeycutt is headed up the I-5 to NorCal.
Honeycutt definitely possesses many physical skills, but he was a mercurial player with the Bruins. There were times where he looked like the best player on the court, and there were times where he totally disappeared on the court. His effort was uneven, and he's a bit slight in size.
This logjam at the three position means that it's likely either Casspi or Garcia could be on their way out, or Sacramento might be dealing Salmons soon. Don't expect Sacramento to still have a small forward glut when training camp begins (whenever it begins).
To discuss the result with Kings fans, Sactown Royalty is the place to go.
The 6'11" 263 pound Tyler is a San Diego native who was a highly recruited high school junior a few year's ago but decided to forego his senior year. He then broke his commitment to Louisville, and decided to play overseas. Tyler had become somewhat forgotten in this year's draft, but could turn into a top-notch big man who's a bit under the radar as of now. I think it's a great move by the front office and is just more proof that the Warriors are putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to making the team better.
Tyler has been labeled an immature guy that lets his emotions get away from him from time to time, especially since he didn't even attempt to go to college or even finish high school. He's definitely is a bit of a gamble on behalf of the W's but if his raw skills can develop in the NBA could be a great player in the league for a long time.
The Golden State Warriors used their second round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft to select Hofstra guard Charles Jenkins. Jay Bilas described him as a combo guard and high character player who makes "winning plays" (any relation to Charlie Sheen?). Bilas viewed him as a first round talent who slipped in part due to coming from a slightly smaller conference.
Jenkins red-shirted his first season at Hofstra and then quickly showed he was a solid scoring and distributing guard. Over the course of four seasons he saw his scoring average rise from 15.0 points as a red shirt freshman to 22.6 points per game as a senior. His senior season saw him lead the Colonial Athletics Association in points and finished second in assists and fourth in steals.
In describing Jenkins, Chad Ford scouted him out as a big-time scorer with range who was tough and physical. The negatives on him revolved around the fact that he is not viewed as an elite athlete and at 6-3, 216 pounds he might be undersized for a guard role (not sure I buy that). His stock rose much of this season and one NBA Scout had this to say back in January:
"You combine his toughness, shooting ability and efficiency, and I think you can find a spot for a guy like that in the league," one NBA scout said. "The first time I saw him this year, I told my GM he's a maybe. Now I think we have to bring him in. We need guys who can score, and he's as lethal as any guard in the country."
The offseason for the Golden State Warriors has been all about change, and now that they have chosen Washington State's Klay Thompson with their first round draft pick, more change could be in the works with Monta Ellis. He isn't part of a draft day trade (yet) but with the addition of another talented guard to the team it is still likely that Monta may be moved to fill other holes in the Warriors roster.
Monta has been with the W's since 2005 now, and they haven't had much success with the team aside for the "we believe" squad of 2006-07. Bringing in guys like Jerry West, Mark Jackson and Bob Meyers shows that owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber are serious about winning and are willing to make big moves to do so, not excluding moving the best offensive player they have.
Klay Thompson is a bigger guard who plays great defense compared to Monta, something the team desperately needs at the guard position. He is a superb distributor on the floor who is smart enough to play within himself and not try to do too much. He might not be as good at getting to the rim as Monta, but will mesh better on the floor with Steph Curry in their backcourt in my opinion.
Monta could bring the Warriors some size via a trade, or even better, maybe even a legit big man like Andrew Bynum. You never quite know what the Warriors brain trust is thinking but one thing is for sure, this team is about winning now, and doing whatever it takes to make the W's better.
The Sacramento Kings made noise early in the 2011 NBA Draft when they dealt away Beno Udrih and the seventh pick for John Salmons and the 10th pick. The deal made it clear they needed guard help to go along with Tyreke Evans and they appear to have found that help in the form of BYU guard Jimmer Fredette. The Milwaukee Bucks selected Fredette for the Kings in what had become a not so well-kept secret. The move leaves the Kings with a starting backcourt of Fredette and Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton coming off the bench. It's safe to say they might score some points.
Fredette was arguably the most dominant scoring guard in NCAA basketball this past season. He averaged 28.9 points per game and was held under 20 points in four games the entire season. More importantly, he raised his game when his team needed him most. After Brandon Davies was suspended, Fredette scored no fewer than 24 points in each of BYU's final eight games. His high water mark came when he single-handedly decimated the New Mexico Lobos in the Mountain West Conference tournament with 52 points on 22-of-37 shooting.
While the Evans-Fredette backcourt may have some defensive question marks, it will be fun to see how much they can score on a given night. Of course, this could also lead to tension when it comes time to split up shots. Fredette scores in bunches but he also takes a ton of shots, something which Tyreke Evans enjoys on occasion. It remains to be seen how Jimmer's game will translate at the next level but it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
To discuss more on the Kings and the selection of Jimmer Fredette, head over to Sactown Royalty.
Soon after the Warriors drafted Klay Thompson, Warriors GM Larry Riley held a press conference about the newest addition (for now) of Golden State (via Tim Kawakami). Riley re-iterates Thompson’s pedigree several times as to why he was their man. When asked about Kawahi Leonard, a player many are comparing to Gerald Wallace, Riley says he was “never an option”:
RILEY: Leonard was not an option. He was never an option on my list. It’s just probably a difference of opinion with some other people. But I felt that we needed a guy with an NBA skill in Klay Thompson and that’s where we went.
So no disrespect to Kawhi, but he wasn’t somebody that we had considered for that 11th pick. There’s all kinds of scenarios that were flying around. Had we moved back, there was a spot for him.
I, personally, was hoping the Warriors took Leonard given what many people were saying about his toughness, strength, defense, and rebounding abilities. Isn’t this something the Warriors are missing? It’s not as if he was an offensive void or anything either. But Riley adds that Thompson’s versatility, offensively, was why they think he can step in right away:
Not really from the standpoint that we feel that Klay is a player who can play both the 3 and the 2 and if you look at our roster at this stage, we’re going to have some room for a back-up 3. That may be a way for Klay Thompson to get more minutes.
I’m a bit confused by some of the strange signals if not contradictory comments of what the Warriors need and expect from their first round pick. On the one hand, at least Riley is admitting that they’re going to start developing their first round draft picks (something that didn’t exist in the past, see Brandan Wright, Anthony Randolph, Ike Diogu, et al.). But at the same time, they recognize Thompson’s defensive liabilities and are willing to deal with it as it comes up (see rest of press conference).
With that said, are the Warriors still prioritizing a more high-octane offense and defense second?
Looks like the Warriors are listening to their new consultant Jerry West. By snagging Klay Thompson, the Warriors have gotten the player that many analysts and scouts consider to be the best shooter in the draft. Based on Draftexpress.com, it looks like they’re putting the ball in Stephen Curry’s hands and having great supporting players around him that compliment Curry’s skills:
A go-to scorer at the college level who uses a good number of possessions, the biggest initial question for Thompson is how big of a transition he’ll have to make in the NBA. The good news is that unlike many high-scoring college players, he isn’t really a dominant ball-handler and already is used in multiple situations operating off the ball.
Relying heavily on his perimeter shot (308 jump shots compared to 123 shots around the basket in the half court this season according to Synergy), Thompson is constantly moving without the ball and coming around screens, showing a great knack for finding open areas of the floor and being multi-capable once the ball gets in his hands. Making quick decisions and showing good scoring instincts, Thompson doesn’t usually have the ball for that long before it leaves his hands.
With all the questions this past season over who should handle the ball, Monta Ellis or Curry, this information about Thompson seems to show the Warriors trying a more calculated strategy of finding players that don’t need the ball to be effective. Both Curry and Ellis struggled when they weren’t fully involved and Thompson looks like a player that can compliment Curry or Ellis’ dribble penetration.
Having that ability to move and get open off screens will take pressure off Curry and Ellis as well. But then again, last time the Warriors wanted someone of this skill, they drafted Mike Dunleavy Jr.
Lets hope he’s not Mike Dunleavy Jr.
The 2011 NBA Draft is underway and the Golden State Warriors selected Washington State shooting guard Klay Thompson with the 11th overall pick. The 21-year old scoring guard put up 21.6 points, grabbed 5.2 rebounds per game and dished out 3.7 assists per game, all while earning an All-Pac 10 nod. It's worth noting that he is the son of former NBA player Mychael Thompson who spent most of his career in Portland, but also played for the Spurs and Lakers towards the end.
Jay Bilas discussed Thompson after the pick and described him as easy to play with and a willing passer. Given the shooting tendencies of Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, it's nice to know they'll have a passer amongst their guards. Of course, at 6-7 maybe he ends up battling Dorell Wright for small forward playing time? If the Warriors don't deal away Ellis or Curry I've got to assume Thompson will be moving around a bit.
ESPN's NBA scouts put together a breakdown of his positives and negatives as follows:
The Sacramento Kings have been high on Jimmer Fredette throughout the pre-draft weeks, and now it looks as if the MIlwaukee Bucks have ensured that he's heading their way. The Bucks picked Jimmer with the tenth pick, and he's on his way to Sacramento with the tenth pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Jimmer will provide more instant offense for the Kings, and he should be a great offensive complement with Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins as they continue their rebuilding effort.
That's not to say this was an unanimous decision for the Sacramento management. Sources close to the situation state the Kings coaching staff is not happy with the Jimmer pick, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. The Kings wanted a veteran guard like Tony Parker or Raymond Felton to help boost the team immediately, and they wanted Sacramento to improve quickly, probably to ensure they all keep their jobs. But enough people in high places seem enthralled by the Jimmer phenomenon, and here he is.
It does make you wonder why Sacramento would trade down to get Jimmer and take John Salmons's awful contract when they could have drafted him at seven, but oh well.
Kings fans, are you happy with the Jimmer pick? Let us know in the comments!
To discuss the Kings, head to Sactown Royalty.
The Sacramento Kings have apparently completed their three-way trade with the Charlotte Bobcats and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Kings took Bismack Biyombo from the Congo with the seventh pick in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft. Biyombo is not a player the Kings expressed too much interest in leading up to the draft, leading us to believe Sacramento is drafting for Charlotte, who liked Biyombo's athleticism and upside.
This means Sacramento will probably end up with the tenth pick. The Milwaukee Bucks will select for the Kings. Two players the Kings are interested in (Kawhi Leonard, Jimmer Fredette) will probably be available at their position, and it's likely that the Kings will take one of them. Expect Sacramento to take Jimmer, who the Kings management and coaching staff have expressed very high praise for as a basketball player.
So much for Monta Ellis being off the trading block. It doesn't get much more high profile than the lottery of the 2011 NBA Draft, and the Minnesota Timberwolves might be willing to deal for the Golden State Warriors shooting guard with their #2 pick. The Wolves could use an upgrade in scoring from the two guard position, and the Warriors need some quality talent inside. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweeted this rumor.
The Warriors would almost certainly take Arizona Wildcats forward Derrick Williams, who could fit very well inside the current Golden State roster. Williams gives them instant athletic presence inside that they lack with Andris Biedrins and David Lee. Ellis in Minnesota could help the T-Wolves become easily one of the most fun young teams in the NBA, with Ricky Rubio emerging from Spain and Kevin Love, Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson all heavily involved.
NBA fans, would you trade Monta for the #2 pick? Let us know in the comments?
The proposed 3-team trade between Kings, Bucks and Bobcats raises some interesting questions about who the Kings will pick and how this affects the Warriors. Chad Ford, via Twitter, tells us that the Kings, at the new #10 slot, are leaning heavily towards Jimmer Fredette to fill their point guard position. If this is the case, Warriors Beat Writer Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area Sports Groupbelieves that this means that Klay Thompson is more in play than ever.
Of course this doesn’t necessarily mean that this is what is necessarily going to happen. Marcus Thompson II Tweets that the Bobcats are not moving up to the #7 pick, formerly of the Kings, for Marcus Morris.
All this really seems to mean little as far as who the Warriors will most likely pick at #11 given that the players and pieces between 3-10 are interchangeable. Everyone seems to want Klay Thompson and Marcus Morris since they seem to be the most “NBA ready” given their skill sets that can immediately transfer (Thompson’s shooting and Morris’ defense and rebounding) to the NBA.
My guess is that Michael Jordan is about to making a huge blunder, which he thinks will be a hit for the marketing purposes, by trying to take BOTH Morris brothers with his picks. Did he not learn from the Adam Morrison debacle to start this career with the Bobcats?
A few hours before the 2011 NBA Draft and we've had our first significant trade as the Sacramento Kings dealt away their number seven pick and Beno Udrih and acquired the tenth pick of the draft and former Kings guard John Salmons. Reaction was swift and furious from Kings fans who find themselves wondering if this is part of another dealor what kind of strategy this means for the tenth pick.
The developing consensus at this point seems to believe the Kings are set on grabbing former BYU star Jimmer Fredette with the tenth pick. Kemba Walker could be in play but Chad Ford tweeted that Fredette is the favorite over Walker. The team does need a point guard and Fredette could fill that role, albeit as a bit of a shoot-first type of PG.
The other issue with the return of Salmons to the roster is what this means for Tyreke Evans. You've now got a pair of 6'6 shooting guards and Evans is not a guy who likes to share. Salmons started 70 of 73 games last season, while Evans started 53 of 57. I haven't followed the Kings as closely as the folks at Sactown Royalty but I do know math and that does not seem to add up.
Fooch's Update: Shows what I know about Salmons. I always thought he played some at the shooting guard, but obviously he would be over at the small forward position. Excuse my ignorance. Of course, with rumors still floating of the Kings turning this into Tony Parker, who knows what this all will mean by the end of the evening.
Stay tuned as we wait to see if there is another shoe waiting to drop on this Kings trade. We'll be here covering the Kings work in the 2011 NBA Draft. For more detailed discussion, head over to Sactown Royalty.
The 2011 NBA Draft is less than three hours away and word out of the Twitterverse is that the Kings have made a trade that includes the seventh overall pick, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Charlotte Bobcats. In reviewing what Chad Ford and Adrian Wojnarowski have to say, there is still a little bit of confusion about the moving parts in this deal. According to Ford, the deal would be as follows:
No. 10 pick
No. 7 pick
Even as I'm typing this, Wojanrowski is not sure about the inclusion of Salmons in the trade. At this point it's safe to say a deal has gone down, but now it's just a matter of getting all the names and pieces that are involved in this move. A quick look at Sactown Royalty responses to the trade are a combination of dismay, shock, and downright rage. We'll keep an eye on this developing story as it would shake up the top of the draft.
The 2011 NBA Draft is only a few hours away and word out of Sacramento is that the Kings are fully expecting to trade their seventh overall pick before they make a selection. Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted as much and naturally that has Kings fans all atwitter. The rumors will range from Tony Parker to Andre Iguodala to trading up to get Brandon Knight. And those are just rumors that have bubbled to the surface.
The Kings are in a position where they have a valuable commodity in the seventh pick and they have holes that need to be filled. With three total draft picks they could find some intriguing talents throughout the draft. However, adding a veteran presence could help the team take a sizable next step sooner rather than later. They'll have difficulty landing free agents given the extremely tenuous nature of the franchise's financial and relocation situation. That would mean draft picks and trading are their two best options.
While numerous trade rumors will float out around most teams in the draft, it's safe to say the Kings will be as prominent as any other team in these rumors. Through all this, we'll be here covering the Kings work in the 2011 NBA Draft. For more detailed discussion, head over to Sactown Royalty for your Kings discussion.
Over the years the Warriors tend to draft to fill a need. But given how poorly the Warriors have played lately, they have a ton of needs, which is probably why there are no clear prospects besides the rumored Klay Thompson that Jerry West allegedly loves so much. Kirk Lacob, the twenty-two year old son of owner Joe Lacob and Director of Basketball Operations for the Warriors, notes that the Warriors wil take the best player available :
“Our draft strategy is that we need to accumulate talent,” he said. “We’re not a good enough team yet, that we need a missing piece. We just need talent, so we’re going to take the guy that is the best player available.”
Not a bad idea given the epic failures in the last 15 years or so of drafting to fill a need (post-Sprewell quality character guy in Todd Fuller and many other failed big men for rebounding and defensive purposes). Drafting the best player available or for need is an on-going conundrum year-to-year around draft time for all teams. But taking a look at teams like the Portland Trailblazers, who seem to have endless barrage of quality swingmen, shows the value of stockpiling talent and how they can be used for leverage in the future.
Perhaps the Warriors are trying to mimic the Portland Trailblazers? If so, who would be the best player available? Jeremy Tyler anyone?
The 2011 NBA Draft kicks off Thursday afternoon on ESPN at 4:00pm pacific with coverage led by Stuart Scott. ESPN will run a preview special starting at 4:00pm with the first pick of the draft coming in around 4:30. ESPN will air the draft on its lead network and will provide additional coverage via live online stream at ESPN3.com.
One of the features of this year's draft coverage will be cameras in 16 war rooms including those of the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors. While being in the lottery can generate some more interest for ESPN's purposes, the Warriors and Kings are both prominently featured in numerous trade discussions given some of the assets at their disposal. The Kings number seven pick have them mixed up in Tony Parker trade rumors and the Warriors have been talking about dealing Monta Ellis for a month now. Expect ESPN to be checking in with the Kings and Warriors plenty throughout the draft.
ESPN will be providing its usual wide range of analysis throughout the draft. Jay Bilas, Jeff Van Gundy and Jon Barry will be on set to provide their comments as the picks come in. Mark Jones will be there to provide interviews with the on-site players after they've been selected and Heather Cox will interview key figured in the player life in the infamous green room. Additionally, Andy Katz, Ric Bucher, Jeannine Edwards, Rachel Nichols and Kevin Connors will be on hand and on location to provide an assortment of information.
The analyst who I would argue has the most interesting job on Draft night is former Portland Trailblazers VP of Basketball Operations Tom Penn. The NBA is in the midst of a labor dispute that could drastically alter the financial landscape of the game. Penn will be on hand to offer perspective on salary cap situations and the impact a new collective bargaining agreement could have on the league and specific teams' draft approaches.
Through all this, we'll be here covering the Warriors and Kings work in the 2011 NBA Draft. For more detailed discussion, head over to Golden State of Mind for your Warriors fix and Sactown Royalty for your Kings discussion.
The 2011 NBA Draft is less than seven hours away, which means teams are probably feverishly working the phones in hopes of making that deadline deal. The likely NBA Lockout will put a freeze on transactions and whatever subsequent CBA the two sides "agree" on, the business of basketball could see some drastic changes. That could mean more deals because teams are concerned they might not be able to unload certain players after the draft. It could also mean less deals as teams practically freeze out of concern.
The folks at Golden State of Mind put together a rundown of the top five questions facing the Golden State Warriors as the draft approaches. It should surprise nobody that the top question is whether the Warriors will trade Monta Ellis on draft day. Mark Jackson seems to like Ellis, but ownership might be looking to make another splash. Do they build around Stephen Curry or can they make this two-headed offensive backcourt work?
The Warriors do have plenty of questions surrounding the team as they enter Thursday's draft, but Ellis is easily the biggest. It could all end up just being talk and he sticks around Oakland for another year. It would not surprise me at all if that was the end result. However, Warriors fans will be waiting and wondering all evening long.
Make sure and check back in our 2011 NBA Draft story stream for updates on the Warriors as they build for the future. And don't forget to swing by Golden State of Mind for more in depth discussion on each team.
Draft day is officially here as the 2011 NBA Draft gets underway at 4:30pm pacific on ESPN and via live online stream at ESPN3.com. The top of this year's draft board features the Cleveland Cavaliers holding the first and fourth pick as they hit it big in winning the draft lottery. The Minnesota Timberwolves had the most ping-pong balls but they came up short and hold the second pick of the draft.
The Bay Area could see a very busy day as the Sacramento Kings hold the seventh overall pick and the Golden State Warriors hold the eleventh overall pick. The Kings hold three picks in the draft and the Warriors hold two but things could get particularly interesting for both teams if they decide to do some dealing. Maybe Tony Parker will be coming to Sacramento. Maybe Monta Ellis will be on his way out the door in Oakland. It should make for an exciting night.
For now, here's a rundown of the entire first round draft order. In addition, the Warriors hold the 44th pick in the second round and the Kings hold the 35th and 60th picks in the second round. Make sure and check back in our 2011 NBA Draft story stream for updates on the Warriors and Kings as they build for the future. And don't forget to swing by Golden State of Mind and Sactown Royalty for more in depth discussion on each team.
2011 NBA Draft Order
1. Cleveland Cavaliers (from LA Clippers)
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
3. Utah Jazz (from New Jersey)
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Toronto Raptors
6. Washington Wizards
7. SACRAMENTO KINGS
8. Detroit Pistons
9. Charlotte Bobcats
10. Milwaukee Bucks
11. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
12. Utah Jazz
13. Phoenix Suns
14. Houston Rockets
15. Indiana Pacers
16. Philadelphia 76ers
17. New York Knicks
18. Washington Wizards (from Atlanta)
19. Charlotte Bobcats (from New Orleans via Portland)
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis via Utah)
21. Portland Trailbazers
22. Denver Nuggets
23. Houston Rockets (from Orlando via Phoenix)
24. Oklahoma City Thunder
25. Boston Celtics
26. Dallas Mavericks
27. New Jersey Nets (from LA Lakers)
28. Chicago Bulls (from Miami via Toronto)
29. San Antonio Spurs
30. Chicago Bulls
The Golden State Warriors have had their eyes on Washington St. Cougars guard Klay Thompson for a few weeks now, and it's starting to look very likely that he'll be their draft pick come Thursday night. It seems to slightly increase the probability that Monta Ellis could be on his way out in Golden State, unless the Warriors are certain Thompson can play minutes at both the two and the three and complement Dorell Wright and Ellis off the bench.
The Warriors are worried that they could be out of luck with Thompson though. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that the Milwaukee Bucks are also courting Thompson's services, and the Bucks are one pick ahead of the Warriors on the draft board. Could Golden State trade up in order to grab Thompson? Or would they go with the guy they'd be willing to wait on, seven-footer Jonas Valanciunas? Valanciunas is likely not going to be leaving Lithuania for two years, but Wojnarowski states that Golden State is willing to wait a few years for his arrival in order to accrue his services.
In a draft bereft of sure things, the Warriors might have to take a chance on one of these guys.
If they had the choice, should the Warriors pick Thompson or Valanciunas? Who would you be your realistic top pick for Golden State and why? Let us know in the comments!
To discuss the Warriors further, Golden State of Mind is your destination.
Well, sources are starting to leak what they're hearing on the Tony Parker trade front, at least regarding what they want from the Sacramento Kings other than the seventh pick. It looks like they might have to part with their promising but still developing young small forward, Omri Casspi.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that Spurs general manager R.C. Buford has a fondness for Casspi, and he wants to include him in any forthcoming deal. This could be a move to help make sure the coaching staff saves their skins, because they are flirting with pink slips day after day in Sac-town and need to win now.
More trade rumors! Will they ever end?
The San Antonio Spurs had an ignominious first round exit after finishing with the best record in the Western Conference last season, bowing out to the Memphis Grizzlies in six games. Memphis exposed San Antonio's inability to get rebounds and play solid defense down the stretch with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, and the Spurs might be looking to the future (essentially the post-Tim Duncan era) and how they can best cope with their current deficiencies.
Their most valuable trading chip is point guard Tony Parker. At 29, Parker is still a solid slasher and a starting point guard in the league, and the Spurs might dangle him for the option to land more draft picks. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that two teams that have inquired about Parker include the Sacramento Kings (with the seventh pick) and the Toronto Raptors (with the fifth pick). The Kings need a point guard, and you'd figure they'd give up Beno Udrih and the 7th pick if they were to land Parker. As for what they'd do with the pick, the Spurs might have their eye on Kawhi Leonard or Chris Singleton to try move back to the defensive orientation that won them titles, but that's all speculation.
Should the Kings do whatever it takes to get Parker, even if it means giving up the 7th pick? Should the Spurs make a deal with the Kings to get that pick? Let us know in the comments, NBA fans!
The 2011 NBA Draft kicks off live from Newark, New Jersey Thursday June 23 at 4:00pm pacific on ESPN. Although the league faces a looming labor dispute, the NBA Draft will go on as planned. As is always the case with the NBA Draft, rumors have been swirling about trades ranging from reserves to super stars. One minute the Warriors might trade Ekpe Udoh and a pick for Robin Lopez, the next minute the Kings are snooping around Raymond Felton. Throw in your basic Dwight Howard rumor and it's been a wild few weeks.
The Golden State Warriors enter the draft with two picks. They will select No. 11 in the first round and No. 44 in the second round. They originally held the No. 41 pick in the second round but that passed through the New Jersey Nets to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Warriors acquired No. 44 from Phoenix.
The Sacramento Kings enter the draft with three picks. They will select No. 7 in the first round and No. 35 and No. 60 in the second round. The Kings acquired No. 60 from Chicago via Milwaukee.
There are question marks about the quality of the lottery talent in this draft so it will be interesting to see if there are many big trades on draft night. It seems like every year there's at least one big trade involving a relatively high pick. However, if the demand is not there for the talent at the top, we might not see much. Of course, that won't stop the rumors from circulating.
Over the course of the next few days we'll keep you up to date with the trade rumors, the picks and the analysis of the Warriors and Kings various picks on Thursday. In the meantime, you can check out the many NBA mock drafts that have been circulating in recent weeks to get an idea of where players are being projected. One could argue throwing darts while blindfolded can be just as accurate a predictor of draft results, but they at least provide us with an interpretation of team needs.
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