He will only have until May 8 to determine whether to return for his senior year. Thompson, who averaged 21.6 points per game to lead the Cougars to a 22-13 record this season, said the undetermined number of workouts with NBA teams will enable him to determine his future. He said he will be able to start workouts on April 28.
Thompson said a significant factor in his decision will be whether he is assessed as a first-round pick. If Thompson is projected to be among the draft's top 30 picks, he said it would be difficult to pass on a guaranteed contract. Second-round picks do not receive the same three-year guaranteed contract, though. But Thompson does not see himself falling that far in the draft.
"I'll be surprised just because I feel I have the ability to be (a first-round pick)," he said.
Thompson, who said he will need about 24 credits to complete his degree in communication after this semester, said he "would not have any problem" returning if his draft evaluation is less than he expects.
He likely would shatter guard Isaac Fontaine's school record of 2,003 points if he returns in addition to becoming one of the top 10 most prolific scorers in conference history. But Thompson, who has 1,756 career points, said that was not a significant factor in his decision.
Thompson said not qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in three seasons was "tough," but he felt he accomplished a lot this season individually and as a team after advancing to the National Invitational Tournament's semifinals.
ONE NOTABLE SETBACK came in early March when Thompson was cited for marijuana possession. He was suspended for the March 5 game against UCLA -- a 58-54 overtime loss. A win against the Bruins might have resulted in the Cougars advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
"I think it (hurt my draft stock) at the time, but I think I've shown maturity since that incident," Thompson said. "I'll have to answer that question during workouts."
Thompson, who believes he needs to get stronger and more explosive to be successful in the NBA, said both his father -- former NBA center Mychal Thompson -- and WSU coach Ken Bone were supportive in his decision to enter the draft. The younger Thompson said he already made up his mind on declaring for the draft when his father visited Pullman last week.
"Coach Bone just told me to do what I felt was right," Thompson said. "He knew I had a lot of support and knowledge from my dad. He thought I was ready and my stock was at a good point."
Bone said the prospect on losing the conference's top scorer is difficult, but added that it also helps the program from a recruiting standpoint.