Thompson opts for NBA draft

Pac-10’s leading  scorer declares, but hasn’t hired agent

PULLMAN — Washington State junior guard Klay Thompson has filed the paperwork to enter the 2011 NBA draft, but has not hired an agent.

Thompson, who led the Pac-10 in scoring last season, plans on testing the waters in workouts with NBA teams beginning April 28 until May 8, the early entrant withdrawal deadline.

“The NBA’s been my dream,” Thompson said during a conference call with reporters on Monday afternoon. “And I’m in a good situation to fulfill that dream.”

Thompson would likely stay in the draft if he’s all but guaranteed to be a first-round pick, which is looking like the case. Thompson’s stock has recently ascended, thanks is part to the number of top-tier prospects deciding to stay in school another year.

DraftExpress.com, one of the three major NBA draft sites, currently lists Thompson as the No. 21 overall pick. He and 39 other underclassman are early entrants.

Thompson said that he is leaning toward not returning to Pullman next season, but didn’t completely rule out the possibility of coming back for his senior campaign.

“I wouldn’t say 99 percent (sure about not returning), but I’m leaning toward leaving,” he said.

Thompson would be 24 credits short of communications degree after this semester and noted that if he isn’t going to be in a good situation at the next level, a return could be in the works.

According to Thompson’s father Mychal Thompson, a Lakers radio color commentator and the No. 1 pick in the 1978 draft, the younger Thompson is getting good reviews.

“He wants to get a couple of workouts to see where he fits,” Mychal Thompson said. “All the scouts love him. They love his complete game. I’m getting very favorable feedback.”

With only a 10-day period showcase his ability, Thompson plans on working out with only a couple of teams.

Thompson was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection after averaging 22 points per game last season. The 6-foot-6 gunner finished the season by setting WSU’s single-season scoring record with 664 points and is currently WSU’s third all-time leading scorer with 1,687 points.

Thompson is the second WSU player to recently declare for the draft, as All-Pac-10 second-team post DeAngelo Casto opted to skip his senior season last Friday. Thompson was also the second of three WSU players cited for marijuana possession during the season, which may be an area of concern for prospective clubs.

“I think I’ve shown maturity since that incident,” Thompson said. “I’ll have to answer those questions when I go to the workouts. They’ll question my character, but I’ll be ready for it.”

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