The Golden State Warriors are just a few years removed from winning multiple NBA championships. Given that most of the core nucleus from its dynasty run is still on the roster, it stands to reason that this group shouldn’t make any massive changes.
Of course, the reality of the situation is a little more complicated.
Yes, three of the Warriors’ four stars from the championship days are still there — but Kevin Durant was arguably the most important piece and he’s gone for good. Plus, Klay Thompson hasn’t been healthy in two years.
At a certain point, you can no longer afford to continue squandering away Stephen Curry’s prime. And that’s probably why Thompson and Draymond Green have become a popular topic of trade speculation over the past few months.
Green has only been linked to one team up to this point, but they are reportedly “salivating” at the prospect of trading for him.
Thompson, meanwhile, has multiple suitors after him. A few weeks back he was linked to a potential deal involving the Washington Wizards. This week, Zach Buckley of the Bleacher Report offered another intriguing option: the Indiana Pacers.
In this proposed trade the Pacers walk away with Thompson and Jordan Poole, while Golden State comes away with Myles Turner, Jeremy Lamb and Justin Holiday.
The benefits for both sides are fairly clear.
The hits keep coming. https://t.co/tAgVSV1zRh
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 11, 2021
Rookie big man James Wiseman seems like a promising talent, but he is not ready to play a focal role on a team with championship aspirations. He is a developmental project; Golden State needs a proven, top-level center. Enter: Turner.
The NBA’s current leader in blocked shots per game would immediately add a rim-protecting element that the Warriors lack, all the while fitting in snugly offensively with a severely underrated three-point shot.
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
Obviously Kelly Oubre Jr. has been a huge disappointment in his Poor Man’s Klay Thompson role (even head coach Steve Kerr can admit that), but the hope would be that his production coupled with Lamb’s would be enough to keep the offense moving.
Holiday is a serviceable role player who would add a punch off the bench for the depth-deprived Warriors.
Indiana would obviously finally call it quits on the whole Tyler-Domantas Sabonis Experiment, but that has been a long time coming. Although they’d lose some defense in the middle, they’d gain a legitimate superstar who, when healthy, is one of the NBA’s top perimeter defenders. Offensively, Thompson fits with any team in the league – Pacers included. As long as he doesn’t have any more intimate photos with women leak out, Thompson is pretty much the perfect supplementary piece.
Now we know what motivates Gronk to play so hard. https://t.co/xFnKnjoXQ4
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 24, 2021
Obviously this would be a risky move for all sides. Golden State would be quitting on Thompson, which could prove to be a costly mistake if he recovers to old form next season. At the same time, Indiana would be betting a promising young center on Thompson doing something he hasn’t done in two years now – getting healthy.
That said, whichever team actually guesses Thompson’s future correctly could immediately upgrade their franchise in a way that’s normally very hard to do.
There’s potential for blowback involved in this trade, sure. But you gotta risk it for the biscuit in all aspects of life, and the NBA is no exception.
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