Klay Thompson has been out of basketball for over two years now. Klay is one of the most likable players in the game and his return has been long overdue. He also happens to be extremely good at shooting the basketball.
However, many experts around the league have questioned how good he will be upon his return. Thompson was once one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA in addition to being a strong presence on the defensive end. But they are not out of line to be concerned since Thompson has missed an extended period of time.
So will Klay Thompson be the same player he once was?
Warriors Season without Klay
Golden State is currently on a five-game winning streak as of this article’s publication. They are leading the league in points scored, second in field goal percentage, and fourth in three-point percentage. It is safe to say that scoring the basketball has not been a problem for the Warriors.
Stephen Curry leads the team with MVP-esque numbers, as the star point guard is averaging over 28 points per game with a 41.8 three-point percentage. He has continued to be one of the best players in the game. Other productive scorers on the team have been Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole.
All of Golden State’s success has led to having the best record in the NBA at 16-2. So do they really need Klay Thompson?
The Impact of Klay Thompson
Thompson has been out since the 2019-2020 campaign. The star forward missed that season with a knee injury, and missed the entirety of the 2020-2021 year with an Achilles injury.
Before the two lost seasons, Thompson was arguably the best shooter in the NBA. While most would bestow that title upon his co-Splash Brother, Klay was not far behind. He is an incredible 41.9 career percent shooter from beyond the arc, and averaged over 20 points per game five seasons in a row before the injuries.
He was truly on a trajectory to being considered one the best shooters of all-time. Even with the missed time, there is a good chance he will be in that conversation.
So will Klay be the same player that he once was?
He is 31 years old and will need some time to get into game shape. One would figure that when he first returns, Thompson will be effective as a catch-and-shoot threat. As the saying goes, once a shooter, always a shooter.
But in terms of creating looks for himself and being the strong defensive presence he once was, it will likely take some time for him to regain those skills. Nonetheless, Thompson can be effective and will be just another positive factor on an already impressive Golden State Warriors roster.
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