Klay Thompson And The Lakers 7th Pick Dilemma

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    Updated: June 22, 2014
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    There are certain teams in sports that are so used to winning championships on a regular basis that once the winning stops for a short while, their judgment is clouded. The team currently suffering from this is the mighty Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers are in a rebuilding period and for a storied and legendary franchise like the Lakers, not being on top is strange territory. With some of the players on their roster nearing the very end of their careers, and others simply not good enough to get the Lakers back into contention, the Lakers need a plan to rebuild.

    The Lakers have the number 7 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and with that pick they have some good options, well sorta. They can use that pick and draft a young player who can be a franchise building block for years to come, or they can trade that pick and try to get a really good piece like Klay Thompson. The Lakers would be better off trading away that pick and trying to acquire Klay Thompson.


    When Injuries Present Themselves The First Time, Take Heed…


    I’ve seen a lot of Lakers fans pan the idea of trading the 7th pick to Golden State in return for Klay Thompson, and the main reason I’m seeing is because they want to get Joel Embiid. This is strange for a couple different reasons. First, what’s to say the other teams on the board won’t draft him before he gets to 7, then what? If the Lakers are looking at him then surely one of the teams that have the 6 picks ahead of them could surely believe Embiid is that good of a player also and take him. Then what do the Lakers do? Hope Julius Randle is still on the board? It’s always a possibility that Randle will fall to 7, and he looks like he’s going to be a stud in the Association, but what if the Lakers end up with Aaron Gordon? He’s not a franchise player from what I’ve seen and he can develop into a very good player but he’s not a game changer.

    Second, let’s say the Laker do land Embiid at 7, great right? Well maybe not. He had back problems in college, and now he’s out 4-6 months after foot surgery. This is before he even endured the intense training and speed of the NBA game. Do Lakers fans think that the more wear and tear on his body he gets the healthier he will become? The injuries are there and staring Lakers fans in the face. Why ignore them?

    The signs were there for Greg Oden as well, but the Portland Trail Blazers passed up Kevin Durant and went for Oden. Durant is lifting MVP trophies and Oden is sitting on the bench for the Miami Heat and has acknowledged he’s an NBA bust. Yao Ming, Andrew Bynum and Brook Lopez are just some of the big-men who have had success in the NBA but have had their careers disrupted pre-maturely by injuries.

    Yet, Lakers fans want to roll the dice on Embiid. To me taking that chance is risky. But with their history of centers the Lakers might feel that drafting Embiid is their center Birth Right. I can certainly see the appeal because their were analyst comparing Embiid’s game and footwork to Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon. That’s one hell of a comparison. But that can only become a reality of he’s healthy. It’s a gamble two-fold. Taking a risk and hoping Embiid is there, and if he’s available at 7 taking him with his injury record. Leading me to the smarter option, trading for Klay Thompson.


    Klay Thompson Will Be Klay Thompson For Years To Come…


    What is there not to love with Klay Thompson? He’s 6’7, sneaky athletic, he plays excellent defense, and he can absolutely shoot the lights out of the gym. He’s not injury prone from what we can all see so far, he’s proven he can score and do well at the NBA level, and at only 24 years old with his shooting ability he’ll be able to spot up and shoot like this for the next 10 seasons at least. Thompson played with Steph Curry as his point guard and everyone knows that Curry also loves taking shots.

    Imagine putting Thompson with a true point-guard that will find him open in spots all game long. That would be frightening because with his athletic ability it would take one pump fake to send defenders flying past him and off the rim Thompson would go. He would help space the floor to get everyone else good opportunities and play really good defense on the other side of the court. And again, he’s a pure shooter not even in his prime yet; his shot will only get better. This tweet sums up a lot of what I’m saying:

    The Lakers could do far worse than Klay Thompson. He seems like the perfect player to start adding to the Lakers so they can build a true contender again in the West. Thompson is a quality player on the court that’s not a headache off of it. The Western Conference is deep with powerhouse teams so incorporating Thompson who has done in that conference should be a plus. Passing up the opportunity to acquire him at his age with his shooting ability on what may be a risky 7th round pick could be a terrible move for the Lakers.

    The Lakers aren’t used to drafting so high because they’re always in title contention, but that 7th pick could do a lot of good, or it could be a dud pick that they turned into nothing of substance. The Lakers and their fans should really re-think their take on Klay Thompson and that 7th pick. Thompson might be step one in a process leading to a lot of success. It would be a shame to waste it.

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