Washington State guard Klay Thompson drafted by Golden State; UW's Thomas taken by Sacramento with last pick
Washington junior guard Isiah Thomas was the final pick, No. 60, by the Sacramento Kings. Washington State star Klay Thompson was drafted by the Golden State Warriors, selected with the No. 11 pick.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Isaiah Thomas, who sank a buzzer-beating jumper to beat Arizona in the 2011 Pac-10 tournament title game, knows all about fantastic finishes, but Thursday night's drama may have topped them all.
With the NBA draft coming to a close and several teams making a run on relatively unknown prospects, it appeared as if the Washington junior would go undrafted.
The Los Angeles Lakers selected Nigerian forward Chukwudiebere Maduabum with the 56th pick, Dallas took Targuy Ngombo at 57 followed by Ater Majok who went to the Lakers at 58 and Hungarian Adam Hanga to San Antonio at 59.
When it seemed as if another international player would conclude the 2011 draft, the Sacramento Kings used the last pick — No. 60 overall — on Thomas, who watched the draft from Tacoma.
Four hours after the start of the draft show, the 5-foot-9 point guard received the call that he's been waiting for ever since he was old enough to dribble a basketball.
Thomas became the sixth Pac-10 player taken in the draft.
After Cleveland selected Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with the top overall pick, Minnesota chose Arizona forward Derrick Williams at No. 2.
Klay Thompson waited a little longer at the NBA draft than his famous father Mychal, the No. 1 overall selection in 1978.
After about an hour, the Washington State junior heard his name called when NBA commissioner David Stern announced the Golden State Warriors had selected him with the 11th pick.
"He's always been there to support me," Klay Thompson said about his father during an ESPN interview. "He has all that knowledge for the game."
Thompson led the Pac-10 with a 21.6 scoring average last season. He also averaged 5.2 rebounds.
USC forward Nikola Vucevic was selected 16th by Philadelphia, Sacramento picked UCLA forward Tyler Honeycutt at No. 35 and Bruins guard Malcolm Lee went to Chicago at No. 43.
While it was a good showing for the conference, recent Washington graduates Justin Holiday and Matthew Bryan-Amaning were not drafted. The Huskies would have gone 0 for 3 if not for the Kings.
Thomas had his first workout with Sacramento and said he felt good about the team.
"I really liked it there," he said last week. "I could see myself there."
Thomas led the Pac-10 with 6.1 assists, and he ranked fourth in the conference with 16.8 points last season.
He left school ranked sixth among UW's all-time leaders (1,721 points), third in assists (415) and eighth in steals (122).
Thomas became the seventh Washington player picked in the NBA draft in the last seven years.
The list includes Nate Robinson (No. 21 overall, 2005), Brandon Roy (No. 6, 2006), Bobby Jones (No. 37, 2006), Spencer Hawes (No. 10, 2007), Jon Brockman (No. 38, 2009) and Quincy Pondexter (No. 26, 2010).
• Utah selected Colorado guard Alec Burks with the No. 12 pick. The former Colorado guard is the son of Steve Burks, who played four years (1979-82) for UW.Washington connections
Players with local connections selected Thursday in the NBA draft:
12./Golden State/Klay Thompson, WSU
The Morning Memo
The Morning Memo jump starts your day with weather, traffic and news
Career Center Blog