Klay's dad offers post-talk insight on future

MYCHAL THOMPSON came to Pullman on Thursday to talk with his son Klay about the WSU junior's basketball future and offered some post-discussion insight to Cougfan.com that should put some bounce in the collective step of the Cougar Nation. He also dished a bit on DeAngelo Casto's outlook.

The elder Thompson tossed a verbal life jacket to Washington State basketball fans, insisting that Klay's chances of returning to the Cougars as a senior are "still very good."

Mychal Thompson did say that chances are "probably 60-40" that his son will declare for the NBA draft next week without signing with an agent. As long as a player doesn't sign with an agent, he can withdraw his name from the draft by May 8 and remain eligible for college ball.

Mychal, a Los Angeles Lakers broadcaster and former NBA player, flew to Pullman on Thursday and provided Klay with written copies of comments Mychal has gathered in recent weeks from NBA scouts and general managers about Klay's NBA future.

"He's pleased to hear positive feedback on him, and what they think of his game and his skills," Thompson said. "It made him feel real good. It made his day."

Thompson said he believes Klay, the Pac-10 scoring champion, will be selected in the first round (top 30 picks) if he enters the June draft. Thompson said Klay "has a chance" to be a lottery pick (top 14).

Thompson said Klay will return to Washington State if he thinks it is likely he would not make an NBA team next season. However, Thompson said Klay has not ruled out turning pro even if he is not certain he would be drafted in the first round.

"He just has to be comfortable with his decision," Thompson said. "It's not first round or bust."

Thompson said the uncertain future of WSU post standout DeAngelo Casto "doesn't impact" Klay's decision on whether to turn pro. Casto also is debating whether to pass up his senior season to turn pro, though Casto is not considered an NBA prospect at this time.

"He's thinking about what he wants to do, but nothing definitive yet," Thompson said of Casto.

Klay Thompson is listed by draft express.com as the 22nd-best prospect in the draft. ESPN.com has moved Thompson up from 41st to 32nd. Thompson is not listed among the 60 players in nbadraft.net's mock draft.

Klay, who attended high school in Southern California, is a big fan of the Lakers and Kobe Bryant, who is a shooting guard like Klay. The Lakers have no first-round picks in the draft, but they have three picks in the second round, starting at No. 41. The Lakers might make a trade to move up in the draft.

Mychal said Klay, who has let his father speak for him since the end of the season, would consider playing for the Lakers to be "basketball heaven -- he'd love it. Are you kidding me? Kobe Bryant is his favorite player. The Lakers are his favorite team. That'd be a dream come true for him, just as it would be for me."

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