June 23, 2011
WARRIORS PAGE WARRIORS VIDEO
Follow @RattoCSNRay Ratto
OAKLAND -- Klay Thompson does not make you happy, because Klay Thompson does not change the Warriors.Unless he really is the backup shooting forward Larry Riley said he could be. Or unless this is the spur to trade either Monta Ellis or Stephen Curry. Or unless Thompson is a trade piece himself.Or unless this is just the sequel, Don Nelson Lives!Thompson, the 6-7 forward from Washington State, was taken 11th by the Warriors, and the first thought was that he gave them more of what they already had. Even Riley, one of the teams six or seven general managers, said, Our inside presence issue has not been solved yet.In short, this was a classic No. 11 Rolling Stones pick -- you cant always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.
And lets be frank here -- the Warriors needed players, especially ones who can cast a shadow. They have players who are tall and impossibly thin, and players who are small and unreliably defensive, and Thompson slips somewhere in the middle, as a backup three whose game starts and ends with shooting and who could play significant minutes on a team of scorers.That is, he isnt the start of a master plan that leads to the trade of either Ellis or, less likely, Curry.That is an open issue as day dawns Friday, because while this is a Jerry West selection (an important distinction given the teams surfeit of basketball decision makers), the bigger decisions -- finding a defender and rebounder who plays close to the basket, and who and what that would cost -- are still to be hashed out on Mahogany Row.Thompson is not the fascinating choice that Jimmer Fredette (10th, to Sacramento) would have been, or the immediate help choice than Kahwi Leonard (15th, to Indiana, then to San Antonio) would have been, or the guaranteed veteran trade pick that Kemba Walker (9th, to Charlotte) would have been.Thompson is actually orthodoxy unchained, and not just Warrior orthodoxy. This draft did not have what the Warriors needed, and given that, they needed to avoid an albatross. We dont know yet whether they have done that with Thompson, but we know he is the first piece of what had better be a series of others.Hes an 11. The last impact player to be picked 11th was Allan Houston, 18 years ago. What did you think you were getting?Ray Ratto is a columnist with CSNBayArea.com.