No. 10: Klay Thompson
The value Klay Thompson has brought to the Golden State Warriors over the past 12 years is significant. His shooting ability and defensive chops paired perfectly with Stephen Curry to form the most lethal backcourt of the past decade and arguably one of the very best in NBA history.
Evaluating Thompson’s impact wasn’t always easy during his career. On the one hand, he was one of the league’s best shooters in an era when shooting had never been more important, he benefited from the Warriors’ team success and he made five All-Star teams and two All-NBA teams. On the other hand, his impact was difficult to measure because he was often staggered in the rotation from Stephen Curry, deflating his advanced metrics, and he certainly took on a smaller role with the Warriors than he could have had as the top guy on another team.
That sort of feedback loop is common on dynastic teams; how much do players benefit from playing with other all-time players? How much are their contributions not tracked but obviously mattered? In the end, Klay’s spot in history is probably secure, even if he just missed out on the NBA’s Top 75 players list two years ago.
Klay Thompson has started on four championship teams and two others that made it to the NBA Finals. He ranks 17th in career 3-point percentage, a staggering 41.6 percent when you consider his volume. He now ranks 10th in career 3-pointers made and is second in playoff 3-pointers behind only his fellow Splash Brother.
Thompson belongs in the Top 10 best players to ever play for the Warriors, and he would rank even higher if considering only the impact while wearing a Warriors jersey.