By Panos Katsiroumpas/ email@example.com
Galatasaray are making some very dynamic moves in the transfer market in order to be much stronger in the new Euroleague season. Moving in this direction, they’re looking to build a frontline that will provide solutions for every situation and type of game. Following Krstic, the MVP of the Italian championship, Austin Daye, but also Alex Tyus, they’ve closed their big men positions with an excellent player, Deon Thompson, who played in Bayern last season and had faced the Turkish team in the quarterfinals of the Eurocup.
The American forward/center is a graduate of – but also a champion with – the excellent program of the North Carolina Tar Heels. He won the college championship with them in 2009 in what was one of the most talented teams of the NCAA in the last 20 years. With his teammates Lawson, Tyler Hansbrough, Danny Green and Wayne Ellington they played thrilling basketball and won the trophy with ease.
Despite this he was not drafted and he chose to seek his next stop in Europe, where he has taken root. In the six years he has already been playing here, he’s passed through Greece and Ikaros, Olimpija Ljubljana, Alba Berlin where he had a very good year, Bayern in the 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 seasons, while he also played in Israel and China in between.
What he can offer
Overall, Thompson is an excellent player who has a lot to offer especially in the offensive part of the game. His biggest asset is that he possesses an excellent understanding of the game and knows how to use his body and position himself on the court.
He can play in the 4 position but also in the 5 as well. He has the ability to threaten with his game in the post, while he also has excellent positioning inside the racket as well, constantly working the body of his marker. He can play the pick-and-roll too, even though his dives inside the paint are not really distinguished by their speed, but he has very good timing when cutting inside to receive the ball. He can also play face-to-face since he has a rather good mid-range shot, something that helped him become even more dangerous on the offensive half of the court. He might not pose a big threat from the three-point line, but from 4-5 meters he has a shot with pretty good accuracy levels. Overall, he has a full game in offense, even though in 4 he can’t really open up the spacing, something that is required in the game as it is played today.
If he has a drawback, one that kept him away from the NBA, it’s his athleticism. However, he tries to cover this weakness with the good timing and perception that he has both in defense as well as in offense.
He’s not a player that loves transition, as he usually becomes a threat in the 5-on-5 game, while he can also improve some elements in his game such as his movement with the ball on the floor. In defense he puts in the effort, but he’s certainly not regarded as a defensive annihilator. Despite this, he knows how to read plays, gets good positions and provides important help with his smartness. In our own estimation, he can be of more use in the 5 position, but as coach Ataman showed last year, he likes playing with big and strong payers in the 4 position, like the example of Caleb Green demonstrated. Undoubtedly he’s going to be of assistance in a line of big men with lots of talent but also experience.