Svi Mykhailiuk drawing Klay Thompson comparison

Despite never playing a regular season NBA game, the Los Angeles Lakers 2018 No. 47 overall pick Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is showing flashes of Golden State Warriors’ All-Star Klay Thompson in his Summer League play.

The Los Angeles Lakers are off to another hot start in the NBA Las Vegas Summer League. 2018 No. 47 overall pick Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is a pivotal reason why.

The Lakers are currently undefeated after four games and have a first-round bye in the playoff format. They are seeking to become the first team in NBA history to repeat as Summer League Champions.

Sophomore guard Josh Hart is putting the team on his back with MVP-esque numbers posting 22.5 points a game, good for third highest among all players to this point. However, Mykhailiuk has also put on a show of his own commanding the respect of his teammates and opponents alike.

Mykhailiuk is averaging 14.0 points per game while also putting up 4.3 boards and 2.5 assists. Known for being a deep threat at Kansas University, Mykhailiuk was looking to show he has a lot more dimension to his game. He’s scored 15 or more points in three of the four Lakers’ contests.

Svi is a smooth athlete. He moves up and down the court fluidly on the offensive end. He has a good handle, and he can create his own shot. Plus, he seems to be an effective two-way player and has shown flashes of defensive brilliance.

The effort is there, and the Lakers are recognizing it. Mykhailiuk signed his rookie-scale contract on July 10, reportedly a three-year deal worth around $4.6 million.

However, the shooting stroke and tendencies of both players match up. Thompson averaged 20.5 points per game on 51.9 percent shooting in his 2012-13 Summer League campaign for the Warriors. Mykhailiuk is averaging just six points less, in 5.8 fewer minutes per game. Plus, he is shooting at a 48 percent clip, a striking resemblance to Thompson.

This is not to say that Mykhailiuk will make four All-Star appearances in seven seasons like Thompson has. However, for a late second-round draft pick, he is earning his place on the Lakers roster and is earning his right to fight for minutes on the floor.

Mykhailiuk has a leg-up on some other rookies having represented his home country, Ukraine, at the FIBA World Cup at just 17-years old. He then went to play for the Jayhawks at KU. In his four years there, he molded himself into one of the best shooters in college basketball, hitting 40.9 percent of his 3-pointers, including 44.4 percent during his Big 12-leading senior season.

Compare that now to Thompson who also established himself as an automatic knockdown threat in his three seasons at Washington State, shooting at a 39.0 percent career clip from downtown.

The fans may not see it right away, but Mykhailiuk will be an important piece in the Lakers rotation. He is the only “true” shooter on their roster and will provide key minutes off the bench. Who knows, by the time the season starts, he may find himself in the starting role.