2. Klay Thompson, Golden State
In Golden State, Thompson lives in the shadow of Stephen Curry. In that role, however, has emerged a two-way superstar who is on pace to become one of the greatest shooters in league history. The offensive improvement that Thompson has shown as his career has progressed has turned him into an all-star, and he’s no longer just a three-point threat.
A majority of his shots still come from outside the arc, but he works vehemently to get them. Defenders spend most of their energy chasing him around the court as he weaves through back-picks and elevator screens, and his catch-and-shoot motion is remarkably quick. His development as a one-on-one player is striking and, at 6’7, an added post game is making him even more deadly. The only issue with his scoring is that he doesn’t attack the basket as often as he should, but he converts almost 70 percent of his attempts inside the restricted area, so it balances out.
The last point I want to touch on is just how phenomenal he is on defense. To keep Curry fresh on offense, KT matches up against the opposing team’s best guard, and he sees his fair share of All-Stars. In the 2015-16 playoffs alone, Thompson defended James Harden, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, Russell Westbrook, and Kyrie Irving; he also averaged 24.3 points on 42.5 percent shooting from three in the postseason. Impressive, right?
Next: James Harden