With the 15th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Indiana Pacers are just outside the lottery, but could find themselves in a prime position to take Washington State guard Klay Thompson in the first round. Thompson seems to slot-in right around No. 15 in almost every 2011 NBA mock draft around, and the latest from NBADraft.net is no different. In Draft Express' first mock draft, Thompson was the Pacers pick, and though he's moved down a notch in some projections, he's still holding steady in the same spot in NBADraft.net's 2011 NBA mock draft.
Thompson's strengths, according to NBADraft.net, are about what anyone who's watched him play at Washington State would expect. He can shoot, is long and has a high basketball IQ.
One of the top pure shooters on the college level ... Prolific outside shooter with a defined role for the NBA level ... Right hander who at 6'6 with long arms has good size for the NBA 2-guard position ... Shows an excellent feel having been around the game his entire life. Understands his limitations and plays within his game well
The weaknesses, on the other hand, are a bit perplexing.
An average athlete who plays below the rim ... He's a "momentum athlete" in the sense that he shows solid athleticism when he has momentum moving towards the rim ... Much better in the half court than in the open floor. His lack of elite athleticism gets exposed in the transition game
In his junior year at Washington State, Thompson played above the rim quite a bit, and was remember for a few of his more prolific dunks during the 2010-11 season. For example, here he is dunking on USC's Alex Stepheson. And here he is with a vicious dunk in the NIT. His work in transition has improved leaps and bounds, and Thompson may surprise people at the next level.
For the latest on Thompson's place in the draft, feel free to peruse the rest of our 2011 NBA mock draft StoryStream. Head over to SB Nation's CougCenter for all things Washington State athletics, as well.