Fantasy Basketball: Sell High on Klay Thompson

Kelley L Cox

Kelley L Cox – USATODAY Sports

We hear it all the time: “basketball is a game of runs”. This statement typically refers to the train of thought that every NBA team will eventually heat up and make a run through the course of a game, and more often than not it seems to happen. Why can’t that same logic be applied Klay Thompson, the smoking hot Golden State Warriors sharp shooter?

Is Thompson an elite marksman? Yes. An elite fantasy option? Right now, yes, but not long term.

Through five games, the shooting guard is shooting 58 percent from the field (56 percent from distance), making nearly four triples on a nightly basis on his way to 24 points. While he is a top flight shooter, this pace is simply too great to keep up for much longer, but that’s not exactly breaking news. From a fantasy perspective his lack of a well rounded game is what scares me for the long term. At 6-foot-7 expecting a decent rebound total wouldn’t seem unreasonable, but he was on the fringe of the top 40 at his position in rebounding last season and has seen his involvement on the glass decrease this season with the addition of Andre Iguodala and the health of Andrew Bogut.

Maybe he can give you some assists? He plays for the second highest scoring offense in the league (111 ppg), so he should be able to contribute a handful of helpers by accident, right? Not so much. He has registered more than three assists in just three of his last 38 games, a number that is on the decline (two assists is his game-high this season).

The percentages are going to regress to the mean, and while those are still very good numbers their impact on your fantasy roster are limited. Even with his smooth jumper ripping the nets through five games, his scoring has been incredibly inconsistent. His point totals (38, 10, 27, 15, 30) have been all over the place, and that is during the most efficient scoring period of Thompson’s short career (his 1.58 points per shot are even with LeBron James). When he isn’t making shots at this level there is a chance that Harrison Barnes begins to cut into his playing time, another limiting factor on his fantasy upside. I don’t own Thompson in a single league (simply wasn’t willing to pay his asking price for a specialist), but if I had him I’d be looking to sell sooner rather than later.

Players I prefer from this point forward: Eric Bledsoe, Kawhi Leonard, and Jimmy Butler.

Always talking fantasy sports @unSOPable23

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