Klay Thompson

Why Kendrick Perkins expects big season from Klay Thompson

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After a rough showing in last year's postseason, many pundits have written off Warriors guard Klay Thompson's ability to be the impact player he once was.

ESPN's Kendrick Perkins is not one of them. On Tuesday's episode of "NBA Today," Perkins explained why he thinks Thompson will bounce back during the 2023-24 NBA season.

"I expect him to ball out," Perkins said. "I think this is the perfect time for Klay to remind the world of who he is. He had a full preseason. A full training camp under his belt, and again, you know Klay wants his lettuce. At the end of the day, he got his rings, he got his hardware, he got all that, he's able to talk his talk, but he wants his big deal. And I think Klay is going to go out there and do Klay things."

WNBA star and basketball analyst Chiney Ogwumike pointed to the Warriors adding Chris Paul as a reason to be optimistic that Thompson can regain his form.

"I actually think the acquisition of Chris Paul is to help someone like Klay Thompson, especially as they get older," Ogwumike said. "Steph [Curry] can run the point, Draymond [Green] is a good facilitator, but have someone who in their one preseason game came off of the bench and had nine assists in 30 minutes. That's what Chris Paul is going to be asked for, so I think it takes pressure off of Klay."

Former NBA player Tim Legler added that a tough playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers altered the perception of an otherwise strong season from Thompson, who led the NBA in 3-pointers last year.

"Look Klay had a slow start [last season], he did not finish well," Legler said. "Obviously did not play well in that last series, but he was sensational for a two to three-month stretch during the regular season. It looked like Klay Thompson from four or five years ago. So I think he is going to be primed to have a year like that and finish it off the same way without that drop-off that he had against a physical, athletic Lakers defense. I think Klay Thompson is back."

Thompson averaged 21.9 points per game while shooting 41 percent beyond the arc during the regular season but saw his numbers drop drastically to 16.2 points per game on an abysmal 34 percent field goal percentage in the Warriors' second-round loss to the Lakers.

With one year remaining on his current deal, Thompson has more incentive than ever to put together a strong season ahead of his potential impending free agency next summer.

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