There were 10 players taken ahead of Klay Thompson in the 2011 NBA Draft—here's what they're doing now.
Ten players were selected before Klay Thompson in the 2011 NBA Draft, and if teams could do it over again, he'd go much higher than that. Regarded as nothing more than a spot-up shooter with potential coming into the league, he's exceeded expectations and has become a legitimate scoring threat and a vastly-improved player on defense. When he gets hot, it's absolutelyterrifying for opposing teams. So with that in mind, let's take a look at the 10 players that went before him.
1. Kyrie Irving, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers
Irving has lived up to all the hype of a No. 1 overall pick, and he's only gotten better as time has gone on. The arrival of LeBron James and Kevin Love to the Cavaliers in 2014 allowed the point guard to find breathing room on the court and do what he does best: score. He's on his way to the Hall of Fame.
2. Derrick Williams, SF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
Since being drafted No. 2 overall, Williams hasn't quite met expectations. He's bounced around to several teams, and has never averaged more than 10 points per game since the 2012-2013 season. Still, Williams has carved out a nice little role for himself as a solid bench player, and he averaged 17 minutes per game with the Cavaliers this season.
3. Enes Kanter, C, Utah Jazz
Kanter was traded to the Thunder in 2015, and he currently starts at the center position. While his minutes have been somewhat reduced relative to his days with the Utah Jazz, Kanter has been even more productive on a per minute basis. He averaged 14.3 points this season.
4. Tristan Thompson, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers
Thompson has spent his entire career with the Cavaliers, and in that time has become one of the best rebounders in the league, period. While his offensive skill set leaves something to be desired, his physical presence in the post has paid dividends for the Cavs, and he's been an instrumental piece of their dominance in the East.
5. Jonas Valančiūnas, C, Toronto Raptors
Valančiūnas had arguably the best season of his career this past year, putting up career highs in rebounds, free throw percentage and even three-point percentage. His points per game dipped, but only very slightly to 12.0.
6. Jan Veselý, PF, Washington Wizards
If there's a bust to be named out of these 10 players, unfortunately that honor probably falls upon Veselý. After just four years in the NBA, he never averaged more than 4.7 points per game, and his minutes quickly disappeared after his rookie season. Now, he currently plays for the Turkish club, Fenerbahçe.
7. Bismack Biyombo, C, Sacramento Kings
Biyombo was sent to the Charlotte Bobcasts via trade on draft night, and now he plays for the Orlando Magic after signing a 4-year $72 million contract in the summer of 2016, despite only averaging 5.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game the season prior. A rebound savant, he's regarded as one of the best, especially in physical, playoff basketball.
8. Brandon Knight, PG, Detroit Pistons
Knight has never been a star, but he's always been a serviceable scorer and a solid passer. He's spent his time with three NBA teams, and currently occupies a reserve role with the Phoenix Suns. He also has the unfortunate habit of falling down and getting viciously dunked on/crossed, and that's probably what he's best known for.
9. Kemba Walker, PG, Charlotte Bobcats
The only other All-Star on this list besides Kyrie Irving, Walker has always been a phenomenal scorer, but he was never treated like an All-Star. Things changed during the 2016 season, however, when he exploded onto the scene and became a true star. He averaged 23.2 points, 5.5 assists and 3.9 rebounds in his breakout campaign.
10. Jimmer Fredette, SG, Milwaukee Bucks
Fredette was an absolute monster in college, pulling up from the moon to sink three-pointers like it was nothing. Unfortunately, his game never really translated to the NBA. After stints with several teams, he signed with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association in August 2016. He was the MVP of the 2016-2017 season, averaging an unreal 37.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.