Gilbert Arenas complimented Memphis Grizzlies’ guard Desmond Bane for his impressive development and offensive contributions in Ja Morant’s absence. However, the praise for Bane turned into a critique of Golden State Warriors’ guard Klay Thompson. Arenas suggested that Klay never improved his game and remained a spot shooter, despite winning four championships. The comments highlight a perspective on Klay’s playing style and development compared to emerging talents like Desmond Bane.
Klay Thompson showcased one of the most versatile offensive games in the NBA before his injury, as evidenced by his ability to take players off the dribble, even though his primary skill was being a rhythm shooter. His defensive prowess as a swingman on the Warriors’ wing added to his versatility. While Klay has focused on three-point shooting due to his efficiency, he displayed the capability to be a threat from various spots on the court.
Desmond Bane, on the other hand, is still developing and has been entrusted as the Grizzlies’ No. 2 scoring option. Comparisons between the two should consider factors like reputation and age.
As Klay Thompson faces athletic decline, it impacts his game, but it’s inaccurate to reduce his career to solely taking spot-up jumpers. His multifaceted skills, including off-the-dribble abilities and defensive contributions, have been integral to his impact on the court.
Klay Thompson has had a somewhat disappointing start to this season, averaging 15.8 points on 40.4% shooting. This contrasts with his excellent regular season campaign the previous year when he averaged 21.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. While Thompson struggled in the 2023 playoffs, there’s an expectation that he typically settles into the NBA season around January.
January has historically been a strong month for Klay, and his performance during this period could be a litmus test for his current season. If he can maintain consistent scoring, even if not replicating his peak numbers, it could positively impact the Golden State Warriors.
The Golden State Warriors currently stand at 10-12, facing challenges in compensating for Klay Thompson’s struggles this season. While last season saw Jordan Poole contributing as a bucket-getter alongside Klay, the team now relies on Chris Paul as the lead guard off the bench. The Warriors recognize the need for more firepower to complement Stephen Curry and contend with the high-scoring offenses in the NBA.
Klay Thompson’s physical decline, particularly after his career-threatening injury layoff from 2019 to 2022, has impacted his mobility. While he excelled in the season-and-a-half following his return, his recent performances indicate potential challenges. If he can’t rely on his shot, the Warriors may face tough decisions regarding the franchise legend’s role and impact on their competitive window alongside Stephen Curry.