OAKLAND, Calif. -- If the Golden State Warriors are indeed exploring trade possibilities for Monta Ellis, their backcourt just got more crowded after the selection of Washington State’s Klay Thompson with the No. 11 overall draft pick.
But Warriors general manager Larry Riley downplayed reading too much into the team adding Thompson, who was considered one of the top shooters in the draft after leading the Pac-10 in scoring last season.
“We feel Klay is a player who can play the 3 and 2,” Riley said. “We’re going to have room for a backup 3 and that may be a way for Klay Thompson to get more minutes. This in no way affects our motivation to trade any player.”
The 6-foot-7 Thompson said it gave him chills thinking about getting drafted and liked that the Warriors were under new ownership and headed in a new direction. He’s a Southern California native who’ll be returning closer to home after three seasons at Washington State.
The son of former top overall pick Mychal Thompson, Klay appeared confident he could fit in well with the Warriors.
“I feel like for my first year or two I can come off the bench to provide a great scoring punch and score in bunches,” Klay said.
Said Riley: “We’ve said before we like him as a shooter, as an athlete and as a basketball player. He has that NBA skill, and he will develop further skills as we get into work into the preseason. This player has a bright future in front of him. He has a good pedigree. He’s shown he can score.”
The Warriors added another guard in Hofstra’s Charles Jenkins with their second-round pick at No. 44 overall. They also sent $2 million to Charlotte in exchange for the rights to big man Jeremy Tyler, the 39th overall pick from San Diego who decided to play overseas in Israel and Japan rather than in college.
“We added a guy who’s going to make our roster and eventually a guy who can be in our rotation,” Riley said of Tyler. “I felt like this was a good, calculated risk.”
Said new coach Mark Jackson: “Each guy has all the tools to defend.”
Jackson also said nothing had changed with his desire to coach Ellis.
“I’m expecting the opportunity to coach this young man,” Jackson said. “In talking to him, he wants to win.”