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The Golden Choice, Part 10: Why Khyri Thomas fits the Warriors

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The Creighton shooting guard is a defensive maven with an explosive offensive game that could fit the Warriors’ system.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Charlotte Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

In the past two Golden Choice profiles, I profiled Melvin Frazier and Josh Okogie as possible wing picks for the Warriors. Both are versatile guards who can switch on defense, defend three positions, with a solid offensive game in need of some coaching. Khyri Thomas, a 22-year-old shooting guard from Creighton, is another option for the Warriors at the 28th pick. While he’s shorter than Okogie and Frazier, he’s just as (if not more) menacing on defense and enters the draft with a greater variety of offensive skills.

In his junior season at Creighton, Thomas made the All-Big East second team. He averaged 15.1 points per game, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists. His eFG% was 62.9% and he hit 41.1% of his 151 attempted three pointers. Those are darn good numbers.

The pros and cons of the Khyri Thomas

Thomas is best known for his defense. The Ringer’s draft guide notes that Thomas has shades of Patrick Beverley or a small Gerald Wallace—high praise for an incoming prospect. From watching him play, it’s easy to see that Thomas is a natural baller on both ends of the floor. He attacks the rim with athleticism and control and also showcases a smooth jumper. Despite his height, Thomas is quite strong, with a surprising 6-10 wingspan and likes to play on the run. He plays larger than his size. Like Frazier and Okogie, he will be able to guard three positions in the NBA.

Thomas’ 6-3.75 frame and position is the biggest question mark. Normally in the NBA, players of Thomas’ size play point guard. Thomas is a shooting guard. He’s not a great ball handler and moves better off the ball than with the ball. For the Warriors, maybe that’s fine given Curry, Cook and Green can assume ball-handling duties. Bob Myers’ must ask a question: Can Khyri Thomas’ offensive game translate in the NBA despite his size?

The Warriors must make a decision if it comes down to players like Frazier or players like Thomas. Take the smaller player with a better all-around game or pick the taller wing with a less-developed game. Thomas fits the mold of a Warriors player. He’s fast, thrives on the fast-break and turns defense into offense. If he’s still around at pick 28, he’ll be tough to pass up.

Power Rankings: Who should the Warriors draft?

For each draft piece, these rankings will be updated with new additions.

1. Khyri Thomas- Creighton, junior, guard

2. Melvin Frazier- Tulane, junior, guard/forward

3. Keita Bates-Diop- Ohio State, junior, forward

4. Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech, sophomore, guard

5. Jalen Brunson- Villanova, junior, point guard

6. Shake Milton- SMU- junior, point guard

7. Moritz Wagner- Michigan, junior, power forward

8. Devonte’ Graham- Kansas, senior, point guard

9. Landry Shamet-Wichita State, sophomore, guard

10. Bonzie Colson- Notre Dame, senior, forward