Let’s start here first — the Golden State Warriors probably won’t trade Klay Thompson. He is a franchise legend, a starter and still has some good moments.
But let’s face it, he also has more bad than usual, and the Warriors are looking more and more like a one-man team whose window is halfway shut. That one man is Stephen Curry, and while he’s still fairly unstoppable at age 35 … well, the rest of the Warriors don’t frighten anyone these days.
That includes Thompson, who understandably is not the same player after major knee and Achilles injuries. Yes, that was a couple years ago, but it’s not like stuff heals better with age.
Along with that, there’s been a lot of talk about his contract. It’s expiring. In many cases, that automatically makes you a trade candidate.
And even if Thompson isn’t a trade candidate, he stands a decent chance to enter free agency. Yes, he could return to Golden State next season on a new deal. But it may be at a rate that’s less than he wants.
Then again, one opposing general manager told Hoops Wire that he doesn’t expect Thompson to get a sizeable contract from anyone should Thompson hit the open market in the summer. “Best days behind him,” the opposing GM said in a text.
“I’ve had four executives from other teams in the last 72 hours ask me, just in spitball and stuff, ‘Would they ever trade Klay Thompson?’” Lowe said. “And the reason they’re asking is because teams see somewhat of an opportunity there in terms of, ‘Can we get involved in a deal? Would they have to attach an asset to trade Klay Thompson if they want to get meaningful win-now talent with multiple years left on their contract in exchange for Klay Thompson?’”
Lowe added the following line:
“To be clear, the Warriors do not want to trade Klay Thompson. They have no desire to do it. I would bet heavily against it ever happening.”
I agree. The Warriors don’t want to trade Thompson. That might be too painful for the organization and its fans. But given the state of things with Golden State, there are worse ideas, and that is why opposing execs are wondering if exploring such a trade might make sense.
The Warriors are spinning their wheels and Curry’s window is closing soon. Thompson’s is halfway shut. As Michael Jordan once said, in order to get to the top, you have to hurt some feelings along the way.
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— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) December 1, 2023