Late Friday night, Team USA‘s final roster cuts were made for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Leaving Damian Lillard, Gordon Hayward and Chandler Parsons off of the team displays just how much depth the current team has at its disposal. Although the roster is loaded from top to bottom, Golden State Warriors‘ shooting guard Klay Thompson is undoubtedly the team’s worst overall player.
Although Thompson has recently become a household name for NBA fans, he is far from a star. Many tout Thompson’s three-point shooting ability, but his 41.7 percentage from behind the arc last year did not rank in the top 10 in the NBA. Even more concerning is that only 6.2 percent of his three-point field goals were not off of an assist, demonstrating his lack of ability to put the ball on the floor.
Thompson’s lack of dribbling ability does not only affect his ability to score, but also clearly limits his ability as a passer. Even with the plethora of offensive weapons on the floor for the Warriors, Thompson has yet to tally more than 2.2 assists per game in any of his three years in the league.
Additionally, Thompson appears unable to accept his role as a defender and three-point specialist for Team USA. Although Thompson clearly struggles when asked to create offensively, he has over-dribbled and forced shots from inside the arc recent exhibition games. Even with all of the other offensive weapons on the floor for Team USA, Thompson seems to believe he needs to be a playmaker. If Team USA wants to be successful in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Thompson must play a secondary role on offense.
Certainly, Thompson’s perimeter defense will be an asset for Team USA’s squad. However, if head coach Mike Krzyzewski is looking for perimeter defense from the wing, he should look at Toronto Raptors star Demar Derozan. Derozan is just as good defensively and can provide more playmaking and rebounding, which beats Thompson’s superior perimeter shooting.