UGA’s Trey Thompkins, Travis Leslie reunited in NBA by L.A. Clippers (UPDATED)

Criticism of his physical conditioning contributed to Georgia's Trey Thompkins dropping to the second round in Thursday night's NBA draft. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Criticism of his physical conditioning contributed to Georgia's Trey Thompkins dropping to the second round in Thursday night's NBA draft. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie thought they had left Georgia to pursue their NBA dreams separately. As it turns out, they’ll be reunited in Los Angeles after the Bulldogs’ star players were both drafted in the second round by the Clippers.

Thompkins, a 6-9, 240-pound power forward from Lithonia, was the first to go, but not until the37th pick. His call came at 10:45 p.m., or three hours and forty-five minutes after the NBA Draft show on ESPN began.

The call for Leslie, a 6-4 guard from Decatur, came 10 picks and nearly a half-hour later.

“Congrats to Trey and Travis on being drafted,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said via his Twitter account. “Never thought I’d say I was going to cheer for the Clippers. . . . I will now.”

Thompkins (17 points/8 rebounds) and Leslie (14/7) were the Bulldogs’ leading scorers and rebounders last season. In L.A. they’ll join star forward Blake Griffin and fellow Atlanta native and second-year pro Al-Farouq Aminu of Norcross.

“Leslie can be a lock-down defender and we want to make sure Blake has competition in the dunk contest next year,” Clippers general manager Neil Olshey said. “Trey is a great compliment to Blake.”

Thompkins and Leslie were UGA’s first NBA draftees since Rashad Wright was the last overall pick in 2004.

Fox believes both players have pro potential but wanted them to return for their senior seasons.

Travis Leslie's was said to be one of the most athletic prospects in the draft. (UGA photo)

Travis Leslie's was said to be one of the most athletic prospects in the draft. (UGA photo)

“Trey has legitimate power-forward size and he’s got offensive skill and a high basketball IQ,” Fox told me the day before the draft. “I’m sure he’ll make a great pro. I think Travis will continue to improve. He improved a great deal the last two years and I don’t think he’s done improving. He’s not a finished product yet so it just depends on how teams perceive that.”

Thompkins and Leslie both entered the draft fully expecting to be first-rouond selections. But Thompkins’ stock dropped after his conditioning came into question, while Leslie had to overcome doubts he is anything more than an athletic dunker.

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said Thompkins was “a great value” for the Clippers to get in the second round but brought up Thompkins’ body-fat percentage, which was measured to be 15.5 percent at the NBA combine.

“That’s pretty good if you’re a sealion,” Bilas said. “He could have used another year in school, as could his Georgia teammate Travis Leslie.”

Thompkins earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors the past two years. He led the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounding each of his those years and concluded his UGA career with 1,396 points and 693 rebounds. Those figures rank 13th and 10th, respectively, on the school’s career charts.

Leslie was a second-team All-SEC pick by the league’s head coaches this past season. He averaged 14.4 points and 7.2 rebounds in 2011, second on the team behind Thompkins in both categories. Leslie also handed out 97 assists. He finished his career 1,099 points, which ranks 30th in UGA history.

88 comments Add your comment


June 23rd, 2011
11:18 pm

Bad decisions


June 23rd, 2011
11:22 pm

Does anyone have the names of the people that told Trey and Travis they were going to get picked high in the draft?

Poor advice, poor decisions to leave


June 23rd, 2011
11:24 pm

Both going to the clips!

Brian F.

June 23rd, 2011
11:36 pm

Should have stayed for senior seasons. Apparantly, they got some rotten advice. What a shame !!


June 23rd, 2011
11:42 pm

Wish they had of stayed. Now they are in Basketball purgatory.

Jody Patton

June 23rd, 2011
11:44 pm

Those who actually watched these two play, these picks in the second round were about where they needed to be. Whoever told them they would be first round picks was smoking something funny. They will ride the bench and probably be demoted to the minors. They should have stayed in school.

Blake Barnes

June 23rd, 2011
11:46 pm

Jeremy Price went in the lottery right?


June 23rd, 2011
11:51 pm

Love these two guys, but the writing was on the wall, they should have stayed. Unless you know you are going to crack top 30 you should stay….tough luck for them and the Dawgs because they could have gone much deeper in the tourny with the help coming in next season. Frustrating for them, and for Dawg fans who now wish they stayed even more. Seriously though, good luck in LA fellas! We’ll be pulling for you!


June 24th, 2011
12:05 am

This is no surprise at all. These guys were both very good college players who were poised to have great senior years and position themselves to be 1st round picks next year. Unfortunately, they were both somehow deluded into thinking they’d be 1st round picks this year. As a result, we may have heard the last we’ll hear of these guys for several years to come. I don’t feel that bad for them – they are the ones to blame for their poor decisions to come out. It’s Coach Fox and the Georgia team that I feel sorry for. With those two guys, UGA would’ve probably been a preseason Top 25 pick. Instead, they’ve now got to replace 3 starters.

My question is – Where were their parents during this decision-making??? Dumb, dumb, dumb…

Know It Alls

June 24th, 2011
12:08 am

Know It Alls who know nothing tell these young guys all sorts of stuff they want to believe. Reminds me of the Jumaine Jones situation.


June 24th, 2011
12:24 am

Real poor decision…Trey would have been lock to be a middle first rounder if he stayed till next year and got that body fat down

Thomas Brown

June 24th, 2011
12:45 am

Not good.

They did not get the analysis they needed while they were here. Clearly, both considered that they did not need to return. Mark Fox knows what he is talking about, and his words ring true on both.

Now, is that selfish of me wanting them both back next season ?

I don’t think so.

The team had some excellent wins, because of them. And, the games were really fun. I don’t want Mark Fox to have a drop-off. Still, a new gym would do wonders for both the women’s and the men’s basketball programs. I’ll follow them; what is the team, again ? Never heard of them. I have not been a fan of the NBA in a long time. Nowadays, you could walk in with 12 seconds to go in every game and see the whole game. The rest of the game is just a waste. I don’t watch it. I would like to watch men’s basketball doing well here at UGA.

Maybe we can get back to that. These guys made their shots. That is what I like to see, not jacking the ball up and making less than a third of them. Good Luck Mark Fox. You’ve had some good players, right out of the gate, and you told them both to stay for another year. The recruits should note that you are 100 percent correct.

Nothing in this article about their expected incomes, but it is not a good prognosis – not now and not in the future. Mistake.


June 24th, 2011
1:31 am

Excellent personal decisions by both Travis and Trey. Neither player would benefit from playing for Mark Fox another season and – even if cut by the Clippers – will be better served focusing full time on playing ball, getting paid, and learning some valuable “real life” lessons that it will take hard work to get to and stay in the NBA from Blake. Best of luck to both young men and they will always be DGDs.

Not even close

June 24th, 2011
2:29 am

Lucky 2 even get picked at all………..LOLOLOLOL !!!! Both of these DUMMIES !!!! 1 is FFAT & the other 1 is a BRICKLAYER who can dunk = !!! Hey its even the wrong L.A. team 2 get drafted by….their agents should be in a photo lineup right now or taking mug shots!


June 24th, 2011
2:59 am

I wish someone would run down the names of the NBA people who gave these kids advice and publish them.

Thomas Brown

June 24th, 2011
3:45 am

George O’Leary, Georgia tek former coach, who lied on his resume and was fired by Notre Dame for that, yesterday was in Court defending himself of wrongful death of 1 of his football players on the practice field where he refused to allow the players to have water in that Florida heat down there at the university of South Florida.

Head trainer at UCF also took the witness stand in the wrongful death of the George O’Leary football player when O’Leary ordered all water removed from the entire practice area, and stated that in addition, UCF had advised George O’Leary that the football player who died had sickle cell trait. This attacks the vascular functions with the heart obviously stressed when it is hot and all water had been ordered off the practice field by Head Football Coach George O’Leary.

George O’Leary also testified that he knew the now dead football player had sickle cell trait, exactly as the head trainer at UCF stated that the trainer had advised George O’Leary of his sickle cell trait. Proper procedures for protecting the 19-year old kid were not followed for those with sickle cell trait.

Wrongful death.

Bobby Dodd award was given to this George O’Leary, Bobby Dodd of course the college drop-out at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Bobby Dodd also never beat, and always lost every game against Vince Dooley. That the Bobby Dodd award was given to this scandalous coach, is a serious bad mark on the award.

Georgia tek Lost Scholarships and was put on Probation by the NCAA for the years George O’Leary coached at Georgia tek. The loss in scholarships and Probation of the football program at Georgia tek was long-lasting.

UCF players testified that George O’Leary abused the sick boy during the practice and cursed him just before he collapsed and died.


6 Scholarships were stripped by the NCAA for Georgia tek 2005 year, 6 more the 2006 year, 2006-2007, and 2007-2008 – all stripped of 6 Scholarships in football for


Georgia tek had allowed 17 student-athletes to compete who were NOT ELIGIBLE.

They had bad grades, but played anyway. Georgia tek argued it was STUPID and did not know what the NCAA rules are – that they thought they could play anyone who was any good regardless of their grades.

George O’Leary will lose every penny he can scrape together for the 19-year boy’s family. At no point yet, have I read George O’Leary apologize for any of all the history he has of wrong-doings in this sport of college football and they are many and never-ending.

Guess what else ?




GEORGE O’LEARY as their head football coach. That is what is truly amazing about this story in today’s paper no one wants to talk about. Now, you know the whole story.

Top Row Dawg

June 24th, 2011
4:40 am

Fine legacy George O. But he did win 3 straight (4 now counting Liberty Bowl) against Georgia.
Of course they were before the era of instant replay. Where is Al Ford now anyway?

Would these two cats have turned Pro if they knew they would only be 2nd round picks to the lowly CLIPPERS? Shame for them and Georgia and Coach Fox, if the answer is no.

Get a better evaluation, get deeper in NCAA tourney, beat Vanderbilt, before making poor choices. Thanks for choosing Georgia and laying foundation for future success of Coach Fox and program, can’t help but feel bad for you now though, along with Coach Fox, your Georgia teammates left behind, and Georgia fans.

Go Clippers, let’s get some UGA NBA stars, kinda sparse legacy right now. Oh and please get a degree both you guys, don’t forget the real reason you went to college in the first place. Again, thanks for the memories damn good dogs.

Make the Clippers a success, it can’t be much harder than raising Georgia from the depths they were in when you both came there.

Buzz Me

June 24th, 2011
4:47 am

Best of luck, both good kids

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]


June 24th, 2011
6:28 am

Poor decision to leave…if you don’t make it in the First round then the money will not be there, you won’t get any playing time and you’ll be out of the league when your contract is up or you will be a journey man…


June 24th, 2011
6:39 am

HockeyDawg………agree 100% Where were their parents? Sadly,they were probably trying to figure out how much of their new found money their kids might send their way.


June 24th, 2011
6:40 am

HockeyDawg…..agree with you. Where were their parents? Sadly, probably trying to figure out how much of their kids new found wealth might be coming their way.


June 24th, 2011
6:52 am

This will be the last you hear of them till they are released or go to Europe to play.


June 24th, 2011
6:56 am

There is a ton of haters on the board. First off, Trey’s parents are wealthy, so I’m sure they aren’t looking to bank on their son. This is the weakest draft in years, so they had nothing to gain by coming back. Keep in mind, next years draft is going to be loaded, so their chance of making it into the 1st round in 2012 was slim to none. Good luck in LA and gooooo Clippers!

[...] Georgia’s Thompkins and Leslie reunited by Los Angeles Clippers [...]


June 24th, 2011
7:41 am

Proud-Dawg, I tend to agree with you. Sure, the results seem to indicate a poor decision but there were no guarantees that waiting a year was going to help them either. Trey wasn’t going to grow 4 inches and becoming muscular and athletic in a year won’t happen either. He’s a tweener in every way and that wasn’t going to change. Same with Travis–he was drafted as an athlete and a defender–period. He’s no two guard due to his size, lack of shooting ability and inability to dribble. He sure as heck can’t play the point. No way does he develop those skills in one year. Bottom line is that both kids were probably tired of school and ready to try and play professionally. There’s not a lot of money in the D-league but it’s more than the NCAA pays (unless you’re Auburn or O$U) and there is plenty of money to be made overseas.


June 24th, 2011
7:48 am



June 24th, 2011
7:50 am

Congrats Travis and Trey! Go Clips!
What does this site have to do with George O’Leary?????? UH, NOTHING!


June 24th, 2011
7:52 am

Hmmm… First, your not either one of these kids. You do not know their famililes financial situation. You could also make the argument that if Trey had left the year before that he would have went higher in the draft.

As far as the Clippers are concerned. No doubt that this team has always been at the bottom of the barrel. But that have been putting a pretty good team together over the last couple of years and just got a lot more athletic. This is a good place for both of these players and hopefully they’ll stick together, work hard and be contributors.

Living in L.A. verses Athens… You may as well be on another planet. This could be great for both of them or awful. I’m an optimist. I think they will thrive on this team, push each other and have successful careers.

Congrats to both..


June 24th, 2011
8:00 am

I can maybe see Trey leaving early, but not Travis. Leslie should definitely have stayed one more year.


June 24th, 2011
8:01 am

They are who we thought they are. Both could have benefited from another year in school, expecially Leslie. Oh well, good luck kids!

Jimmy Crack

June 24th, 2011
8:01 am

Travis will be fine in the NBA because nobody cuts a 6′ 4″ player who can jump 4 feet off the ground (and make free throws). Trey’s attributes are commonplace in the NBA unless he can consistently make shots from 15 feet (which he should). Good luck to both.


June 24th, 2011
8:14 am

They now don’t have to worry about going to class, and can practice all the hours they wish.

They are free from the joke that is the NCAA.


June 24th, 2011
8:16 am

As a High school PE teacher and coach, you would make about 1.5 mil over a 30 year career. They will make that in a year or two. Good move I would say. Ask any teacher in for 10 years struggling to make ends meet.


June 24th, 2011
8:17 am

The good news for Trey and Travis is that the Clippers had no first round picks. But making 12 man NBA roster when you are a second round pick with no guaranteed contract is still very difficult. I’ll be curious to see if they both last past this season or if one or both of them are in Europe or the developmental league by the 2012-13 season.

I completely disagree with those that say another year in school would have done them no good. Trey has basketball skills; he just needs to grow up and learn something about commitment and work ethic. Travis needs to learn some basketball skills, and in a hurry. Both should have stayed at UGA for their senior seasons.


June 24th, 2011
8:18 am

Could have made a lot more money in a year. Apparently they could have been drafted higher if they were European.

Jim Crow

June 24th, 2011
8:34 am


June 24th, 2011
8:18 am

Could have made a lot more money in a year. Apparently they could have been drafted higher if they were European.

And what is European code for tom?


June 24th, 2011
8:48 am

2nd Round money still “good enuff for Mama!” “Thanks, baby! Now I can quits my job and nevuh work another day, all while my baby rides da pine! Mmm, mmm, mmm!”

Tobias Funke

June 24th, 2011
8:49 am

Don’t sign.

Mr. Dawg

June 24th, 2011
8:55 am

I wish them the best. But they should have stayed at UGA for another year particularly with a strike looming.

GT Fan

June 24th, 2011
8:56 am

UGA “stars” only second round talent.

At least GT can still put ‘em in the first round.

Shumpert will get a championship before both of those UGA clowns. What idiots they are…just like the rest of UGA faithful. Idiots.

Rueben Houston is a Tech man

June 24th, 2011
8:58 am

Apparently they would have been drafter higher if they were more rounded ball players than the Europeans. Neither had the patience to attend classes for another year and got bad advice from their handlers. Hard way to learn a life lesson, best of luck to both.


June 24th, 2011
8:59 am

Actually Jarvis wasn’t the last DAWG to be drafted. Rashad Wright was taken with the last pick in the second round in 2004. Wish both Travis and Trey well at the next level, although, I think another year in college would’ve benefited them both. Especially with the lockout coming and summer leagues cancelled.


June 24th, 2011
9:00 am



June 24th, 2011
9:09 am

Both kind of remind me of the antwan jamison and vince carter duo


June 24th, 2011
9:23 am

They surely could have used another year… but next year’s draft is supposed to be much deeper. Had they stayed and not improved their stock, might they have gone even lower or been left out of the draft entirely? Hard to know, but maybe they took that into consideration as well.


June 24th, 2011
9:28 am

Vince Carter and Antwan Jamison? Seriously? Lay down the pipe and back away. Even their mom’s wouldn’t make that leap. Two college superstars and long time pros being compared to two kids no one has ever heard of? I am sorry you did say”kind of”……both tall and african-american. Good luck boys and I hope it works out, but be careful what people tell you about how good you are or how good you can be. That is up to you only.


June 24th, 2011
9:31 am

@ Theight

I believe you meant to say a “poor man’s” Antwan Jamison and Vince Carter duo


June 24th, 2011
9:31 am

Good luck to both young men. GO DAWGS!!!!

AthFest Dawg

June 24th, 2011
9:35 am

This will be one of the last times you hear of the names Trey Thompkins or Travis Leslie. They are bound for long careers in Europe, Israel, or the D League. Shame on the grown men that lead these kids down the primrose path, inflating their egos and giving them an inflated sense of self.