Over the last two days, a growing buzz has been building centering around the San Antonio Spurs' attempts to trade either Tony Parker or Richard Jefferson to move into the top-half of the 2011 NBA Draft. Nobody knew why the Spurs were so infatuated with the early portions of what's been called the weakest NBA Draft in recent memory, but San Antonio has been dangling some big names to get there. Now we may know why, and it may be due to Washington State guard Klay Thompson.
NBC's Pro Basketball Talk is reporting the Spurs are attempting to move-up to draft Thompson and are willing to part ways with Parker to do so. Thompson has looked strong in pre-draft workouts and his stock has shot through the roof with the draft approaching.
According to multiple sources, including ESPN’s Ric Bucher and the Los Angeles Times’ Mark Heisler, the player the San Antonio Spurs are attempting to trade into the lottery for is Klay Thompson. Reportedly, the Spurs are extremely interested in trading into the lottery, and may be willing to give up Tony Parker and/or Richard Jefferson to do so.
Heisler took to Twitter to confirm the reports and went so far as to say the mystery prospect the Spurs are wrangling to get is, in fact, Thompson. He added that Thompson quietly went to San Antonio on Tuesday to meet with the Spurs coaching staff and front office.
FORGET 'RUMORED,' MYSTERY MAN SPURS WANT TO TRADE UP FOR IS DEFINITELY KLAY THOMPSON... Due in NY yesterday, detoured to SA to meet Pop, RC
If the Spurs are this interested, it's certainly a good sign for Thompson. The San Antonio front office is known for its drafting savvy and evaluation ability, so Thompson having his name attached to the Spurs -- and the rumors they're willing to trade a proven player in his prime -- can only be seen as a good sign for his draft prospects.
But around the NBA Draft, misinformation is king. Front offices will float names and manipulate the draft stocks of prospects in the name of gamesmanship. Thompson may be the guy the Spurs are targeting, or he may be a decoy. It's impossible to tell. Either intentionally or not, San Antonio has boosted Thompson's stock significantly, and we may see a situation where teams are angling for his services on Thursday.
For the latest on the Cougars and Klay Thompson, head over to SB Nation's CougCenter.