NBA

You Will Never Guess Which NBA Team Tried To Draft Klay Thompson

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In his first five seasons in the NBA, Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson has become one of the top players in the league. He’s currently one-half of the arguably the best shooting tandem that the NBA has ever seen. However, things could have taken a very difficult route in the 2011 NBA Draft if this team had moved up, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

The intel on Thompson was so jumbled, the Spurs needed two private workouts before deciding to attempt trading up to get him. After one workout, Chip Engelland, the Spurs’ shooting guru, told the front office something that made their hair stand on end, officials remember: Thompson’s competitive nature reminded him of Manu Ginobili.

“There’s something deep in there,” Engelland recalled. “He has that chip. When you see it, you know it.”

The San Antonio Spurs have built a strong reputation for their excellent drafting ability. The addition of Thompson would have fallen right in line with that notion. The Spurs will still able to trade George Hill to the Indiana Pacers to acquire Kawhi Leonard at 15th overall in the draft, which was four spots after the Warriors took Thompson.

Leonard has also become one of the league’s most talented young players. He helped play a major part in the Spurs winning the NBA championship in 2014 by earning the NBA Finals MVP award along with being selected as the NBA Defensive Player of the Year each of the last two seasons. The 24-year-old is coming off his best individual season that saw him earn his first All-Star Game selection and finish second in the league MVP voting behind Warriors’ guard Stephen Curry. Although the Spurs still made an excellent pick, it’s intriguing to speculate what could have been.

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