Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson had the chance to leave for the NBA following his sophomore season at Washington State, but he instead to chose to return back for another year. However there may have been one scenario where he would have taken his talents to the league a year earlier.
According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports, the 24-year-old may have entered the 2010 NBA draft if the Los Angeles Lakers would have promised him that they were going to select him with a first round pick that year. That said, the Lakers did not commit to that premise with the former Washington State standout.
“Klay Thompson would’ve entered the draft a year earlier if the Lakers had agreed to take him in the first round, a source said. The Lakers declined.”
The desire to join Los Angeles for Thompson is no surprise given that his father, Mychal Thompson, played several seasons for the organization and won two NBA titles during his stint.
The Lakers at the time did not possess a 2010 first round pick because it was dealt away in the trade for Pau Gasol to the Memphis Grizzles, and the team already had a shooting guard in Kobe Bryant. The team would have had to make a major move to acquire a pick in order to get into the first round of that draft. However, since then they did show interest in Thompson last season when it was rumored that were willing to deal their seventh overall pick in this year’s draft to acquire him.
Although it may have been a great path to start his NBA career wearing the same uniform of the team his father once played for, Thompson has niched out a significant role with the Golden State Warriors, who took him with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft. Entering his fourth season in the league, Thompson is seen as one of the top players at his position and has earned a four-year maximum contract from the Warriors this past October.
Ultimately, what this anecdote does is make one wonder what may have been had the Lakers committed to Thompson.
Photo Credit: Kyle Terada – USA TODAY Sports