Friday, June 17, 2011

I don't hate Klay Thompson. Plus Tyler, Leslie, and Reggie Jackson profiles

It's not hating to say he's not Reggie Miller.
No player has more "buzz" right now than Klay Thompson. He can shoot the ball and has good size (6'7", 206) for a projected NBA Shooting Guard. Thompson was All Pac-10 Conference First Team in 2010-11 where he led Washington State and the Pac-10 and ranked 11th in the nation in scoring (21.6 ppg). Thompson can shoot it. He uses screens well and he squares himself to the hoop in all situations. He does his damage from the perimeter. He is not very good at creating his own shot, and he lacks the elite athleticism that many NBA SG's possess. He shot just 42% FG for his three years as a Cougar.

He reminds me of a less-quick version of Kevin Martin. Thompson is the son of former L.A. Lakers big man Mychal Thompson. ...Can Klay Thompson play in the NBA? Absolutely. But I've read where he is being compared to Reggie Miller and that is just silly. There is a difference between good, very good, and great. Klay Thompson's 3-pt percentage, this season was 39% (good) but not the 44% (great) that Miller's was at UCLA. Miller shot 54% FG (GREAT!) as a Bruin. Thompson's, as we mentioned, is 42% (not very good). Miller, as a junior, averaged 25.9 ppg. (very good). Thompson was 21.6 as a junior (good). ...I think Klay Thompson can be a good starter in the NBA sometime - but I don't foresee stardom.

I like Travis Leslie.  Leslie in an ELITE athlete. His .550 Efficiency Rating translates very well as a Shooting Guard. The problem is - he is not known as a good shooter at this stage. However - he does shoot 80% from the foul line - so there is hope for his perimeter game. He rebounds like a forward (7.2 rpg) and he does a number of things well enough that if he develops the way Shannon Brown has - you could be looking at a guy capable of being in the top-five at his position down the road. ...Right handed. He is quick and gets steals at a high rate. …Slasher. Gets to the hoop and scores. He averaged 14 points per game last season. He has decent vision - and will drop a nifty backdoor assist. He dished three dimes per game as a junior at Georgia. …He is great in the open court. …He can knock down a mid-range jump shot. However - from deep, his percentages are low (33% 3-pt. career).

Tyler is high risk, potential high reward.
Among the biggest risks in the 2011 NBA Draft is BIG Jeremy Tyler. Tyler is a kid that got some questionable advice and went from high school, after his JUNIOR year, to Europe to be a pro. He spent his first pro season in Israel where he played just 10 games, averaging only two points in seven minutes per game. He quit the team and headed home to San Diego. He spent the 2010-11 season in Japan where he played well and showed signs of becoming a mature man. ...The sample size of data isn't huge on Tyler and although he WAS efficient - you have to consider that he was playing in Japan - which is not the highest level by any means. ...On the court - he has the sought after combo of great length and good athletic ability. Unfortunately - that is really all he gets by on at this stage. This season, for example, he had 18 assists and 83 turnovers. Yuck. And he shot 47% from the free throw line.  ...In 33 games, he averaged 9.9 points on 51.7% shooting and 6.4 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per game. Does he have upside? Yes. Does he have a LONG way to go to get there? Yes!!

Reggie Jackson is a guard with good speed and scoring ability. He averaged 18.2 points per game to go with a rock solid 4.3 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per contest. He has impressed me as kid that can compete in the NBA. He can really turn the corner. He finishes plays but he also can shoot it deep. He improved his three point percentage to .420 this season. …Has ability to feed the post well. …Alert as a help defender. Right handed. …Will sometimes try to do too much but he improved his assist-to-turnover ratio while increasing his scoring each season at Boston College.  He also shot a better free throw percentage with each successive season at BC (75% FT for his three year career). It seems clear to me - that Jackson is still improving and he has the size (6'3") to be an effective NBA Point Guard with scoring ability.

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