After the first half of the 2011 NBA Draft's first round, hair-raising picks seemed to be more the norm than the exception.
The Cleveland Cavaliers started the trend with reaching for Texas big man Tristan Thompson with the fourth pick. The Raptors followed suit with Jonas Valanciunas at the fifth pick, a talented player but one Raptors fans may not see for a season or two.
Bismack Biyombo, the athletic shot blocker from the Congo, appears headed to Charlotte after the Kings grabbed him with the seventh pick. Prolific point guards Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette followed Biyombo to round out the top 10.
So there sat the Warriors and what was surely a charged debate in their war room.
Thompson, possibly the best perimeter shooter in this draft class, was already said to be near the top of the board of some of the Warriors' decision makers. New "cabinet" member Jerry West was said to be enamored with the lanky—6'7", 206 lbs—shooting guard. West's colleague, Warriors Assistant General Manager Bob Myers, was also said to be on board with grabbing Thompson.
But to say that Thompson was a unanimous decision among the front office would be a stretch.
With his subpar athleticism, Thompson appears far from the defensive addition that new coach Mark Jackson was looking for. Defensive stoppers like San Diego State's Kawhi Leonard and Florida State's Chris Singleton would appear to have been Jackson's top choices.
And sitting sixth on Jay Bilas' best available list at the time of the selection, Thompson does not appear to be the best available player type that Larry Riley said he wanted. Players like Leonard and twins Marcus and Markieff Morris of Kansas were some of the players Bilas had ranked higher.
So why, then, would the Warriors pick come from their newest front office member and their assistant general manager?
Perhaps West has more say than was previously reported. Perhaps Myers used some of his negotiating skills from his days as a player agent to sway the room in his favor.
Or, perhaps, the Warriors simply wanted a player who could crack their rotation this season. Thompson is one of the few players in this draft class who possesses an NBA skill: a deadly perimeter shot.
His presence has been rumored to show that the Warriors are thinking about life post-Monta Ellis. While that certainly appears to be a stretch at this point, his selection does seem to pose questions about the future of current Warrior sharp-shooter—and free agent—Reggie Williams.
It's hard to knock Thompson's selection too much as there simply were not any sexy names available at the 11th selection. But it does offer an interesting glimpse into the hierarchy of the new Warriors regime.
And it's really difficult to question the Logo.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!