Texas’ Tristan Thompson Major Beneficiary of WEAK NBA Draft Class

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The Texas Longhorns Tristan Thompson is probably going to capitalize from some of the top prospects in college basketball returning to school. The decisions of blue chip prospects like Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger and Perry Jones not declaring for the 2011 NBA Draft is will end up making Thompson a ton of money.

Thompson could end up a late-lottery pick even though he may not be ready to contribute major minutes right away.

“There are probably 25 guys that have been told they’re lottery picks, but only 14 that actually are. I think it comes down to your workotus and how you produce in comparison to the guys that are at your position,” Thompson said at the NBA Draft combine.

This is a Paul M. Banks/David Kay collaboration

We see Thompson’s player comparison as the Chicago Bulls’ Taj Gibson. Similar in size, Gibson and Thompson bring some of the same intangibles to the floor. Both guys crash the boards, are effective shot blockers, and have nice back-to-the-basket games. Gibson has found a role on the Bulls being an energy guy off the bench, and Thompson will have to follow suit early in his NBA career. Thompson does have more potential than Gibson and will have to work on his jump shot if he wants to maximize his ability.

The 6-8, 230 one-and-done freshman has many strengths including: an effective turnaround jumper, establishing position on the block, ball handling for someone his size, and power dribbling. He has a well deserved reputation as a good rebounder/defender with a raw offensive game.

“My offensive game is raw and I’m just refining my skills packages, working with Coach john Lucas,” he said at the combine in Chicago.

“Footwork is the key. Especially being a big guy, so I just need to put in work to get an offenisve package. I think a team may draft me based on my defense, but I do see myself as someone who could be an offensive threat,” he continued.

Thompson’s agent is Leon Wilson. He’s worked out with numerous teams including the Milwaukee Bucks, Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors. He’s met with even more teams among them the Washington Wizards. Thompson thought he was coming back to school next year for sure, but later changed his mind (obviously).

“A lot of student athletes like myself got caught up in the whole March Madness hype, but after the tournament was over I got a chance to sit down with my family, go over the pros and cons and I thought it would be in m best interest to  become a professional,”

Thompson’s mid-range game is as weak as Lebron James’, he’s also a bit undersized for a NBA power forward. Currently we have Thompson projected at #13 overall to the Phoenix Suns in our latest mock draft.

For a full scouting report on Thompson go here

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports You can follow him on Twitter

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a fomer contributor at The Washington Times Communities.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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