Klay Thompson has had a heck of a drama-filled offseason, with Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson's firing and then organizational squabbling over whether or not he should be included in trade offers for Kevin Love.
But Thompson should be coming out of the offseason with a lot more confidence after helping Team USA cruise to gold in the FIBA World Cup.
As his agent, Bill Duffy, told USA Today Sports, it's clear now where Thompson ranks.
"I don't want (Los Angeles Lakers star) Kobe Bryant to go crazy, but there's some uncertainty as to who he is right now (because of injuries that limited him to six games last season)," Duffy told USA TODAY Sports. "But I think Klay Thompson right now is the top two-way, two-guard in basketball. I think when you look at his body of work, when you look at what he accomplished guarding point guards on a regular basis (last season), I think it's pretty clear."
Of course his agent would say that, especially with contract talks ongoing and the threat of Thompson becoming a restricted free agent next summer. USA Today reported that he has until Oct. 31 to sign an extension.
Because the Warriors' future likely relies on the success of its backcourt, which played a large role for Team USA, with Thompson teaming with Stephen Curry.
"That backcourt is special,” Klay's father and former Laker Mychal Thompson told USA Today Sports. “You don't break that up. He and Steph, they are a great combination, like Laurel and Hardy, Abbott & Costello, Sanford & Son. They're perfect together.... I expect them to be together another 10 years. I'd be shocked if they're not."
Thompson averaged 12.7 points per game for Team USA.
So is he the best?
That's yet to be decided, but Team USA's top scorer, James Harden, is considered by many to be one – if not the – best shooting guard in the league. But, he also is considered a poor defender, an area Thompson excels at.
CBS Sports made an argument against it.
“Thompson is horrendous at creating his own shot, finishing in just the 17th percentile last season in isolation scoring, according to Synergy Sports,” CBSSports' Zach Harper wrote. “He made just 29.5 percent on his shot attempts in isolation. Set him up for a jumper and he's money but ask him to create on his own and it's been a losing battle so far. He's also not much of a passer.”
So, he's not all there yet. But, this summer has proven that his agent isn't all wrong either. Thompson certainly has the potential to back up those claims.
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