2011 NBA Draft: Klay Thompson Picked By Golden State Warriors; Isaiah Thomas The Final Pick

The 2011 NBA Draft gets underway at 4 p.m. PDT on Thursday, live on ESPN and ESPN3. Washington State's Klay Thompson is expected to be picked in the first round and Washington's Isaiah Thomas may be, as well.

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2011 NBA Draft Results: UW Coach Lorenzo Romar 'Excited' For Isaiah Thomas, Hopeful For Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Justin Holiday

Being selected in the 2011 NBA Draft is an honor.

Being selected last is just motivation for a competitor like Washington Huskies guard Isaiah Thomas.

"He already has kind of a permanent chip on his shoulder and I’m sure the chip just got bigger," UW coach Lorenzo Romar said in a Huskies Athletics release.

SB Nation's Sactown Royalty suggests that Thomas will have a chance to compete with Pooh Jeter as the fourth guard in the Sacramento Kings' rotation.

For Thomas, who had some legitimate hope to be drafted as high as the late-first round, having to wait until the 60th pick has to be something of a disappointed, regardless of motivation potential. Nevertheless, Romar says the Kings were a team that Thomas impressed in workouts.

"He had good workouts with them, so I know they were impressed with him," Romar said. "With Tyreeke Evans, Jimmer Fredette and Pooh Jeter there…in Isaiah’s case I know he’s going to make the best of whatever situation he is in."

 

Mildly disappointing for the program is that neither Matthew Bryan-Amaning nor Justin Holiday were selected. Although Bryan-Amaning was a long shot, Holiday was on NBA radars but apparently his defensive ability wasn't quite persuasive enough to executives on draft night.

 

"Yeah. you’re pulling for them and we were anxious," Romar said. "I’m sure those guys (Justin Holiday and Matthew Bryan-Amaning) will get invited to go somewhere. I know with the pending lockout it is a different situation. But for Isaiah, he did get drafted so I’m excited for him."

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2011 NBA Draft Results: Washington Huskies Forward Justin Holiday Goes Undrafted

Although the Sacramento Kings' selection of Washington Huskies guard Isaiah Thomas narrowly kept the program from being shut out in the 2011 NBA Draft tonight, UW senior forward Justin Holiday was unfortunately not selected.

The 6-foot-6 Holiday averaged 10.5 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, 2.1 assists per game but anyone who has watched the Pac-10 closely knows that Holiday's biggest NBA strength will be on the defensive end - he was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year by Netscouts Basketball and deservedly so. That defensive ability is what reportedly had him on NBA radars, according to one report.

In terms of promising signs of improvement, what stood out is his dramatically improved 3-point shooting from rarely shooting them at all in his sophomore year to shooting three per game at a 35.9 percent clip in his senior year at the University of Washington. With summer league unlikely to occur due to extended NBA labor negotiations, the opportunity to showcase his skills to teams to make a roster before whatever training camp occurs will also be gone - his road to the NBA just got a lot tougher.

Justin's brother is 2009 first round draft pick Jrue Holiday, a who played at UCLA and was a 2009 first round NBA draft pick (17th overall) by the Philadelphia 76ers.

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2011 NBA Draft Results: Golden State Warriors Select Klay Thompson At No. 11

With the 11 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors selected Washington State wing Klay Thompson. Throughout the pre-draft process, Thompson has impressed in individual workouts and interviews, providing frank, honest answers about his marijuana arrest this past year, as well as impressing with his ability on the court. Before the process truly got underway, Thompson was seen as a late-first round prospect, but has seen his stock steadily rise throughout the process, leading to Thursday's selection in the NBA Draft.

Thompson's strength is clearly his pure shooting ability. As he began his career at Washington State, the 6-foot-7 wing was used mainly as a spot-up shooter,patrolling the perimeter and knocking down three-pointers. But as his career progressed, Thompson's ability to create off the dribble and distribute were markedly improved. But, clearly, his shooting ability were the biggest selling points in this draft.

His weakness, according to scouts, lies on the defensive end. Thompson's athleticism has been questioned, and left some wondering if he'd be able to defend the perimeter and some of the more agile wings in the league. And while his ball-handling has improved, he must continue to progress once he gets to the league.

Thompson the second Washington State Cougar to be selected in the first round and the highest draft pick the Cougars have produced. The Atlanta Hawks made Don Collins the 18th pick in the 1980 NBA Draft.

Stay with this StoryStream for the latest on the draft and how Thompson may project in the NBA. For more on the Washington State Cougars, head over to SB Nation's CougCenter.

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