On June 23, 2011, Klay Thompson (Washington St.), Jeremy Tyler (Japan/San Diego) and Charles Jenkins (Hofstra) all become members of the Golden State Warriors family. In my eyes, all of these draft picks were great choices by the Warriors, even though Thompson, perhaps, did not fill a need.
Klay Thompson is a flat-out stroker. He can shoot the lights out from deep range, including a few feet behind the three-point line. Although the Warriors have Monta Ellis, Reggie Williams, and Dorell Wright as their swingmen, Klay Thompson gives them more depth.
Many people argue over whether teams should draft the best available player or draft for need, and in my eyes Klay was the best available player at the 11th spot. If the Warriors had chosen any other player with this pick, I would have been very disappointed, as I believe Klay will be better than almost all players picked behind him.
Also, factor in the great possibility of Monta being traded, and the pick makes perfect sense. Thompson, after being groomed for a few years, can step in and be Reggie Miller 2.0 while giving the Warriors the bigger backcourt that they have been searching for. I give this pick an A.
Jeremy Tyler was one of the top ranked high school players in the nation before foregoing his senior year to play professionally in Israel. This was a horrible decision that caused his draft stock to plummet, but the move reportedly helped Tyler mature both as a player and a person. Having played against grown men, Tyler will be more prepared to bang down low and mix it up inside.
What would you grade the Warriors' three draft picks?
Tyler is a great athlete for a near seven-footer. In addition to this, he has a decent mid-range jump shot that allows him to take his defender away from the hoop. His only competition will be Ekpe Udoh, who is primarily a power forward, and Andris Biedrins, who is no longer a factor in the NBA.
If Tyler can outwork these two bums, then I can definitely see him starting at center, which I would have no problem with. He has the most upside out of all the centers on the team.
I grade this pick a B+, because it is a high-risk, high-reward pick. There is always the possibility that he will be a bust, but in my eyes I see Tyler evolving into a very solid NBA player. Plus, the pick filled a huge need for the Warriors, so that made it an even better move.
Charles Jenkins from Hofstra is primarily a point guard who will be used to back up Stephen Curry. While in college, he got most of his points by bullying his defenders and using his size and strength to his advantage.
However, he does not possess elite bounce or athleticism, which I think will make it more difficult for him to succeed as a point guard in this league, especially with all the freak athlete point guards playing today.
Jenkins is a decent jump shooter, but is still not totally consistent, so he will need to work on that. I like the pick, as I believe Jenkins can be a serviceable backup in a few years (at least more serviceable than Jeremy Lin or Acie Law), but I was hoping the Warriors would have nabbed Josh Selby with this pick instead.
Selby is more athletic and a better shooter, and has way more upside than Jenkins, but Jenkins is tougher, bigger and stronger, not to mention more mature. I grade this pick a B, because I do not believe the Warriors could have done much better than they did with this pick, and it filled a need at the backup point spot.
Overall, I was very pleased with the Warriors' three selections, and I look forward to watching each of these young men grow before our eyes.