Basketball

NBA adds CJ Elleby, but loses Klay Thompson, again

The night ended on a good note as we watched CJ Elleby get drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 46th pick in the 2020 NBA draft. Elleby gets to stay close to home and will have the opportunity to learn the ropes of the NBA from a winning culture.

Elleby averaged 18.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game in his sophomore campaign with the Cougars. Elleby is a player who might not make an immediate impact but will be a difference maker down the road in the NBA. CJ ‘s ability to create space and elevate to hit pro level shots off the dribble should excite Trail Blazer fans.

Take a look at these highlights if you need a refresher on how talented CJ Elleby is:

It’s what happened prior to the draft that has Cougar basketball fans heartbroken. Rumors started to spread around Twitter about an apparent leg injury that happened during a workout for Klay Thompson on Wednesday.

Thompson has been battling to return from tearing his ACL in his left knee in game six of the 2019 NBA Finals, but the recent news could have him sidelined until the 2021-22 NBA season.

The fear around the NBA is that Klay Thompson has torn or ruptured his right Achilles’ heel. Thompson now has to battle back from two of the most devastating injuries in sports on back-to-back seasons. The anticipation was high for Klay to be back on the court, but now we shouldn’t expect to see him on the court for a while.

The main question about Thompson prior to this season was if he could return to the player he once was, and now the question is more along the lines of If he’ll ever return.

Thompson is only 30, but this injury is devastating. Piling an Achilles tear on an ACL tear could potentially keep him away from the game forever, but I don’t see it.

No pun intended, but Klay’s a warrior. Going back to his injury from the 2019 Finals. He was already in the tunnel, headed to the locker room when instead of allowing the Raptors to select a free-throw shooter off of the Golden State bench, he walked back out to the court on a torn ACL and knocked down a pair of free throws:

This is the video of the scene I just described. You can see the competitiveness and the fight in Thompson here:

It was a bittersweet night for Cougar fans. The addition of CJ Elleby to the NBA warmed my heart, but the injury to Klay Thompson broke it.

CJ Elleby is the first Cougar to be drafted into the NBA since Klay Thompson was selected with the 11th pick in the 2011 draft.

It’s now on Elleby to keep Cougar basketball fans engaged in the NBA season. One Coug goes down, and another steps up.

  (Photos by: Jack Ellis – Cougar Sports Network)

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