Golden State Warriors: Ranking Klay Thompson Among NBA's Best Sharpshooters

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Golden State Warriors: Ranking Klay Thompson Among NBA's Best Sharpshooters
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors March 13 blockbuster deal highlighted two clear thoughts from the team's front office: 1) They did not believe a Monta Ellis/Stephen Curry backcourt could win, and 2) they do believe in Thompson as their shooting guard of the present and future.

The Ellis/Curry debates had dragged on since the team selected Curry with the seventh-overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, dividing NBA analysts, the Warriors front office and even the club's fanbase along the way.

The argument for Thompson to be an NBA starter...well, that's a much more recent development.

The 11th pick in this season's draft, the former Washington State Cougar looked worlds away from seeing any meaningful minutes during the forgettable start to his career. His shooting form looked good (though the results did not; he connected on just eight of his first 35 field goal attempts and one of his first 13 three-point shots), but his on-court demeanor lay somewhere between a deer in headlights and a teenager in his girlfriend's father's shotgun sights.

He looked like he didn't belong and looked like he wanted nothing to do with belonging in the first place.

Credit Mark Jackson and the Warriors coaching staff for living with Thompson's mistakes and not letting his minutes fluctuate the way a Warriors rookie of yesterday's have might. The on-court returns gradually accumulated, and his stretch of four consecutive double-figure outputs in the days leading up to the trade eased any lingering concerns that he was not ready.

So, now that the NBA has gotten a much closer look at the rookie (he has played fewer than 30 minutes in just two of the eight games since Ellis' departure), where exactly does he rank among the league's best shooters?

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