Warriors take Klay Thompson with No. 11 pick


Warriors take Klay Thompson with No. 11 pick


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SECOND-ROUND UPDATE: The Warriors acquired the rights to Jeremy Tyler who was picked No. 39 by Charlotte. With the 44th pick, the Warriors selected guard Charles Jenkins of Hofstra.
Matt Steinmetz

OAKLAND -- Through all the NBA draft chatter, deception, subterfuge and outright fabrications, the Warriors on Thursday ended up taking the player they were linked to from the very beginning: Washington State shooting guard Klay Thompson.Thompson is considered one of the best pure shooters in the draft, and at 6-foot-7 will give the Warriors some size in their backcourt. Of course, that's important for a team with a starting backcourt of Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis, a pair of undersized backcourt players.But with Thompson, the Warriors did not address their defensive deficiencies or lack of size on the interior. They still think they're better than they were before the draft began."This player has a bright future," Warriors executive vice president of basketball operations Larry Riley said. "He's got good pedigree, he can score, comes from a basketball family. He'll have success in the NBA and he has a very good upside. He should be able to play as a rookie and contribute to this basketball team."
Jerry West, whom the Warriors hired about a month ago as a member of their executive board, spoke glowingly of Thompson in the days after he was hired. West had a relationship with Thompson's father, Mychal Thompson, who played for the Lakers while West was the GM there.Thompson is a player with NBA shooting range and was able to make a play off the dribble in college. Where he'll be challenged early in his career is at the defensive end. Then again, he's not any different from most rookies in that regard.RATTO: Thompson not what Warriors need
"I've got to keep working on my strength and lateral quickness," Thompson said. "Strength is my biggest issue. I have to keep getting stronger and I've got some polishing to do. But if I keep working on that I think I can be a great defensive player in this league one day."When Riley was asked what Thompson is going to have to do to succeed early in his career, he replied: "Concentration."Riley said one of Thompson's best attributes is his know-how and headiness and if he can maintain his focus he'll likely have a chance to play in his first season. Thompson's strength is certainly not at the defensive end, but at the same time the Warriors believe he's smart enough to get by at that end.Still, the buzzwords from the Warriors front office and new coach Mark Jackson have been defense and size. The Warriors obviously didn't address those areas with the No. 11 pick.Florida State swingman Chris Singleton was considered the draft's best perimeter defender, and Riley said at the beginning of the week he believed Singleton could defend small forwards and even some power forwards. At the offensive end, however, Singleton is extremely limited and doesn't possess much of an outside shot.Some of the big men the Warriors figured they might have a shot at before the draft all were gobbled up by the time their pick came around. Bismack Biyombo from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Texas' Tristan Thompson and Lithuania's Jonas Valanciunas all were gone when the Warriors picked.So, in reality the Warriors were looking at Thompson along with Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris, two power forwards out of Kansas. If you're wondering if Kenneth Faried and Kawhi Leonard were in the mix they weren't.Riley said earlier in the week that the Warriors were not really considering Faried. And after selecting Thompson, Riley was asked whether Leonard was on the team's board at all."No," said Riley.
At the end of the day, the Warriors addressed one of their issues within an issue: Size in the backcourt. But as for the two most problematic aspects of the team -- interior size and defense -- well, those will have to wait, apparently.

Warriors as healthy as ever while playing waiting game for next opponent

Warriors as healthy as ever while playing waiting game for next opponent

OAKLAND -- Now that the Warriors have gone through a full-squad scrimmage for the first time in three weeks, there is only one issue to be resolved before they get back to the business of the playoffs.

Whom to play? And when?

As of Friday afternoon, the Warriors had no idea of either.

They will face the winner of the Clippers-Jazz first-round series, in which Utah took a 3-2 lead into Game 6 Friday night in Salt Lake City.

“Why are we talking about Utah like the Clippers are done?” Draymond Green wondered after fielding several Jazz-related questions after scrimmaging.

Well, because the Jazz won Games 4 and 5 and is favored to win Game 6 at home. If they win, they’ll come into Oracle Arena Sunday afternoon to meet the Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

If the Clippers win Game 6 to even the series, those teams will meet for Game 7 Sunday in Los Angeles, with the winner advancing to face the Warriors in Game 1 of the conference semifinals next Tuesday night in Oakland.

In any case, the Warriors appear about as healthy has they have been at any time since February.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, out with a finger/hand injury since Game 1 (April 16) of the first-round series against Portland, participated in the scrimmage, as did veteran forward Matt Barnes, who last played on April 8, when he sustained a bone bruise atop his right foot.

“They practiced today and they even went through the scrimmage,” acting head coach Mike Brown said. “But we’ll wait for our training staff to clear them, after they see how they feel today and (Saturday).”

In short, if swelling is minimal, both will be available for Game 1, regardless of when.

So, too, will Kevin Durant. After a strained left calf kept him out of Games 2 and 3 against the Trail Blazers, he started and played 20 minutes in decisive Game 4 without any ill effects.

Nothing changed during the scrimmage Friday.

“It felt great out there,” he said. “Nothing bothered me. It was definitely good. I’m just trying to hopefully put that injury stuff behind.”

Durant conceded that he continues to receive treatment and ice, but mostly to minimize potential swelling.

Durant makes plea to NBA officials: 'S--- talking is part of the game'

Durant makes plea to NBA officials: 'S--- talking is part of the game'

OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant wishes more NBA officials had a better grasp of the language of the game.

They don’t seem to understand that “trash talk” almost always is little more than an act in which healthy emotions are released. It’s as much of the game on the court as pointing out a bad haircut or a fashion error in the locker room.

“I was raised that if you weren’t talking on the court, then something (bad) is going on,” Durant said after Warriors practice on Friday.

Durant caught a glimpse of the chatter earlier this week between former Oklahoma City teammate Russell Westbrook and Houston guard Patrick Beverley in decisive Game 5 of the Thunder-Rockets series and was disappointed when the officials slapped each with a technical foul.

“I was like, ‘Man, just play on. It’s a part of the game,’” Durant said.

Though Durant himself is not a premier trash-talker, he plays alongside one in fellow forward Draymond Green.

“That’s why we started playing, to talk a little s--- here and there,” said Durant, who grew up in the Washington D.C. area. “Draymond is really good at it. There are a lot of guys in the league that are good. More guys are quiet now than before.

“But s--- talking is a part of the game. I love it. It’s fun when you’re on the same team as a guy that does it. And then, when you’re playing against it, it’s even better because it brings the best out of you.”

For Durant, there always will be a place for trash talk on the court. Not only did he experience it while growing up but he also was indoctrinated in the practice from the moment he arrived in the NBA in 2007.

He recalls, with fondness, being targeted as a rookie by Kevin Garnett and a few other Celtics.

“When I came into the league, that’s when the Celtics had just got together,” Durant said. “Paul Pierce and KG and those guys talked bad to me as a rookie. I was 19. And they talked so bad to me. And I was talking right back. It was just a fun exchange. That’s what basketball is about.”

Now if only he could get officials to realize this.