What was once an All-Star-caliber season has now turned sour for Golden State Warriors’ shooting guard Klay Thompson. The second half of the “Splash Brothers” duo (along with Stephen Curry) has struggled mightily of late, causing pain for the Warriors, and for his fantasy basketball owners. His recent skid has caused him to drop pretty significantly in my latest shooting guard rankings.
After a scorching hot start to the season, Thompson seems to be in a rut. During his first 21 games, the third-year player out of Washington State was averaging 20.9 points (on 48 percent shooting), 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.0 steal per game. He was knocking down 3.4 three-pointers at a 46.7-percent clip. While the three-point percentage was unsustainable, owners hoped he could keep his other stats around those averages. Unfortunately, Thompson’s numbers have been nosediving ever since.
‘Splashing’ back down to earth
On December 7, Thompson scored 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting in the Warriors’ victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. That was the pinnacle of Thompson’s season, and from then on, his fantasy value has taken a hit. In the 28 games since then, he is scoring just 16.8 points, while shooting an atrocious 39.6 percent from the field. He’s still averaging one steal per game, which I guess is consistent, but his three-point shooting has fallen off dramatically. After hitting 46.7 percent of his treys in his first 21 games, he’s now connecting on just 36.7 percent of his shots from downtown. He went from draining 3.4 per game to making just 2.6. Don’t get me wrong, 2.6 threes per game is a fine number, but it’s a very noticeable drop off from his early season production, and definitely not what owners who traded for him signed up for.
If you are a fantasy owner on the opposite side of that equation, and traded him away, you’re a happy camper right now. Hopefully you noticed him trending down and did so before he lost most of his value. Thompson’s shooting has taken a hit each month of the season — from 20.8 points on 48.3 percent shooting in Oct./Nov., to 17.9 points on 42.9 percent shooting in Dec., and finally to 16.8 points and 38.4 percent shooting in Jan./Feb. His current seven-game stretch — which has him ranked 162nd on Basketball Monster.com — has been his worst yet, shooting 34.8 percent from the field, while scoring just 14.9 point per contest.
What are his owners’ options?
His current funk has come at a very inopportune time for his owners. The trade deadline is fast approaching in most fantasy leagues, but it’d be almost impossible to sell him so low and expect to get back fair value. Unless you can somehow convince another owner that his current swoon is a fluke and get a good player in return, it’s probably best to sit on him and wait it out. A season that started with promise, has suddenly become a burden for Thompson’s fantasy owners, and all they can do is hope he turns it around. Because of this, Thompson, who was once a top-5 option at his position, has fallen to No. 10 in my latest fantasy basketball shooting guard rankings: