ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford is reporting, via Twitter, that the Bulls are very interested in shooting guard Klay Thompson from Washington State. However, the Bucks, Warriors, Suns, Pacers and Knicks are all reported to be interested in the 6'7" scorer as well.
Thompson may just be the player the Bulls are looking for. But then again, maybe not. He is a shooter, first and for most. In college, he averaged 40 percent from three-point range, during his last season. The three-point line, however, is a little closer in college. He was a college Kyle Korver.
One intriguing characteristic about Thompson is his improvement each season by leaps and bounds. Although he has always been a good shooter, he began to become a much better player in the lane this season. Since the comparison to Kyle Korver, in terms of shooting ability, has already been thrown out, we'll compare the two in terms of driving. Thompson is much better and can score in a variety of ways, but most importantly, he drives more often than Korver.
Another area where Thompson is an improvement over Korver is in his passing ability. For a player who tends to shoot and not have the ball in his hands, Thompson can register a few assists a game in the pros. Alongside an MVP point guard, a slasher in Luol Deng and a great passing center in Joakim Noah, Thompson could fit in very well.
The biggest issue with Thompson, however, is his defense. Remind you of a current Bulls shooting guard? Although he is a big body and a good scorer, Thompson is not extremely athletic. As a result, he can be exploited by quicker players on defense rather easily.
He has improved his defensive play each season though. Unlike Derrick Rose, however, who is not the best defender, Thompson does not have the ability to become much better. Rose is a phenomenal athlete, so he will grow to become a shutdown defender. Thompson, even with Thibodeau's teaching, will never be that good on defense.
Should the Bulls trade up for a player such as Klay Thompson?
The next issue is his draft stock. He is shooting up the boards and the Bulls will have to trade up to acquire him. With the 28th and 30th picks in this year's draft, a trade could be pulled off. Those combined picks, however, could only acquire a pick in the mid to late teens. The Bulls would have to hope that Thompson would still be available at that point.
Thompson could be a very good fit for the Bulls, but the obvious Kyle Korver comparisons are a little troublesome. But if Thompson puts in the effort on the defensive end and scores 12 PPG in his rookie year, why not trade up for him?