KLAY THOMPSON

1/12/22, 5:43 PM

Updated:

KlayDay is HERE! Klay Thompson’s injury luck has been BRUTAL, but his resilience is INSPIRATIONAL.

Today - after tearing his ACL and Achilles - he’s remarkably coming back to the game. But what does he have left?

We project an All-Star, especially on the offensive end.

ACL and Achilles tears both tend to decrease NBA player production when they come back, BUT that effect is much lower for sharpshooters - and there’s hardly anyone better there than Klay Thompson.

If he’s lost a step, it will probably be on defense. These injuries tend to decrease rebounds, steals, and blocks, but even at 90% of his previous level, he’s still excellent.

With that in mind, we’re looking at Warriors +275 to win the West as a steal at the moment. As Klay plays - and demonstrates exactly what he has left - that line should become much less favorable over the next couple of months.
He tore his ACL, and followed that up with a torn Achilles on the other leg. For an NBA player in his prime, “brutal” barely scratches the surface here. With undeniably admirable resilience, Klay has worked his way back, and we’re now seeing signs that he should be returning to the court within the next 3-5 weeks.

But after these injuries, will he have anything left?

We dove deep on the data, and our answer is YES.

The ACL generally results in a 1-year decline for NBA players, but they tend to bounce back to baseline afterwards. The Achilles has a more profound effect, causing lasting decreases in PER and game participation for most wing position players.

Luckily, both of these effects are blunted for players with lethal perimeter shots. We DO expect Thompson to have lost a step compared to the 2019 version of himself, but we don’t anticipate seeing its effects too glaringly on the offensive end.

He’ll have to work his way back into the fold, but don’t be surprised to see Klay return to his ~20 PPG form by the time playoffs come around. It’s less realistic to expect the return of his All-World perimeter defense, but you may still see this in brief spurts during crunch time. Overall, expect borderline All-Star caliber play from this Splash Bro when he comes back.

Photo Credit: Brian Rothmuller, Icon Sportswire