The Golden State Warriors had extremely high expectations for Klay Thompson in the 2012-2013 NBA season after he showed a ton of potential in his rookie year. In 66 games in his first NBA season he averaged 12.5 points, two assists, 2.4 rebounds and 0.7 steals in 24.4 minutes per game while shooting 44.3 percent from the field and a fantastic 41.4 percent from long-range.
In his sophomore season, though, Thompson saw the floor for much more time and put up better counting statistics, but his efficiency numbers dropped. In 82 games last season he averaged 16.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and one steal in 35.8 minutes per game, but shot just 42.2 percent from the floor and 40.1 percent from long-range.
Though Thompson’s shooting percentages weren’t a liability for the Warriors last season and despite the fact that his outside shooting was a real weapon for Golden State, there was a bit of letdown with his performance in his sophomore season. He didn’t develop into the elite level player that many people thought he good.
There’s no doubting the talent when it comes to Thompson, especially on the offensive end of the floor. His shooting stroke is truly a thing of beauty and will serve him well over his career. However, if he wants to remain a starter with the Warriors as they are currently constructed, he’s going to have to start to meet those expectations people set for him prior to last season.
When Golden State signed Andre Iguodala this summer, it became assumed that Iggy, Thompson and Stephen Curry would fill up the starting lineup at the one, the two and the three. Because of that, Harrison Barnes is likely going to be pushed out of the starting five.
Given the success Barnes had in his rookie season last year, the Warriors are going to be looking to get him minutes. If Thompson underperforms, it’s not out of the question that Golden State would put Iguodala at the two, Barnes at the three and then bring Thompson off of the bench instead of Barnes.
As it stands right now, Thompson is one of the primary guys on the Warriors’ roster and that’s probably not going to change. However, if he wants to stay in the starting lineup, he’s going to have to be solid and consistent this season. If he doesn’t show improvement, his starting job could potentially be in jeopardy.