Thompson entering draft, not hiring agent

Thompson entering draft, not hiring agent

Published Apr. 18, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Washington State guard Klay Thompson announced Monday he will forgo his senior season and enter the NBA draft, and the only likely scenario in which he'd return to school is if Thompson doesn't believe he'll be a first-round pick.

Thompson said he believes he'll be a first-round pick and therefore have a guaranteed contract. But that uncertainty is why the leading scorer in the Pac-10 Conference last season is holding off on hiring an agent until he gets more feedback from NBA personnel.

''We'll see when we go to these workouts,'' Thompson said. ''First round, that would be hard to turn down. ... If I feel right and my game is ready I'll make the jump.''

Thompson has until May 8 to withdraw from the draft if he changes his mind, but much of what Thompson needs to hear will likely be known before the end of April.


Thompson was a first-team all-Pac-10 selection after averaging nearly 22 points per game in his junior season in Pullman. He was in consideration for conference player of the year before Arizona's Derrick Williams pulled away late in the regular season.

But Thompson also had off-court troubles following his arrest in early March after a game on investigation of marijuana possession. Thompson was suspended for a game and made a public apology before the regular season finale against UCLA. He returned for the Pac-10 tournament and scored a tournament-record 43 points in a loss to Washington.

Washington State eventually reached the semifinals of the NIT before losing to Wichita State.

Thompson said those off-court issues had no influence on his decision to declare for the draft.

''I'm leaning toward leaving if I can get a feel for where I'm at with these workouts. There is part of me that is ready to make that next step,'' Thompson said. ''I'm really excited to test the waters, but I'll be fine coming back.''

Thompson is the third major Pac-10 star to declare early for the draft, joining Washington's Isaiah Thomas and Williams. UCLA is also losing swingman Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee as early entrants.

Late last week, Washington State announced that forward DeAngelo Casto was also declaring for the draft.