Creighton’s Khyri Thomas could check off multiple boxes for the Los Angeles Lakers and is an intriguing prospect with the 25th overall selection.
The Los Angeles Lakers are primarily in need for a center and/or a shooting guard in the 2018 NBA Draft. While the choices are slim at center, there are plenty of options to choose from at shooting guard. Khryi Thomas is one of those options.
In our complete Lakers 2018 NBA Draft checklist, Thomas’ name came up quite frequently, checking multiple boxes for the team to fill specific needs. To read that checklist, and see what factors may be influencing the Lakers’ draft selections, click here.
Thomas is a junior guard coming out of Creighton. In his junior season, Thomas averaged 15.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Overall, Thomas put together a very impressive shooting line, shooting 53.8 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from beyond the arc.
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Thomas’ strengths are easy to read just by looking at his numbers. Thomas excels at scoring the basketball from everywhere on the court. He can score on the move, can catch and shoot and can even post up guards his size or smaller.
Thomas can rely on others to feed him passes as well as create his own shots off of screens and using pick and rolls. He is a fairly good athlete and uses his athleticism to be a help on the glass as well as well as the defensive end.
However, his inconsistencies on the defensive end are one of few problems with Thomas’ game.
While he shows flashes of brilliance, he can be outmatched by bigger and more athletic guards. This can become a problem in the NBA.
His jump shot can get pretty streaky too, however, his natural scoring ability negates any long cold stretches. Thomas’ shot release has been called a bit slow, however, should be fine.
Perhaps the biggest con of selecting Thomas is the lack of compatibility between his size and his playing style. Thomas plays like a natural shooting guard and is great at it. However, at six-foot-three, Thomas is a bit undersized to be a shooting guard in the NBA.
However, while he is a decent playmaker, he does not excel at facilitating and likely would struggle running an NBA offense. While his skill set is definitely there, Thomas would have to be put into the right system to thrive.
The Lakers theoretically have a great system for Thomas to play in, though. Thomas would obviously come off the bench and serve as a hybrid point/shooting guard alongside Josh Hart, who is six-foot-five.
Both players can play either guard position and could feed off of each other; constantly changing looks to keep the defense on their heels. This way, the Lakers can develop his facilitating and playmaking ability without taking away from his scoring. Plus, his lack of size can be disguised alongside a taller guard in Josh Hart.
Statistically and talent-wise, Khryi Thomas seems to be a very smart pick for the Los Angeles Lakers. Logistically, though, the Lakers need to be sure that Thomas is an adequate fit.
All statistics courtesy of Sports-Reference.com.