May 16, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30, right) receives a hug from power forward David Lee (left) after leaving the game during the fourth quarter in game six of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena. The Spurs defeated the Warriors 94-82. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes Invited to Team USA Minicamp

Dec 5, 2012; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson (second from left) talks to shooting guard Klay Thompson (11), power forward Andris Biedrins (15) and small forward Harrison Barnes (40) during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace.The Warriors defeated the Pistons 104-97. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes have been invited to Team USA’s mini camp this offseason, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.

The Warriors’ young talent is likely keep them relevant for the good part of the next decade, and Thompson and Barnes, along with Stephen Curry, who did not get an invite because he’s already proven himself (per Marc Spears), are at the nucleus of that seemingly golden plan.

But a quick run down:

Barnes is 20 years old. Thompson is 23. And Curry is 25. The trio is locked up through the 2015 season, at which point Thompson can become a free agent. Barnes is scheduled to become a free agent following the 2015-16 campaign, and Curry is signed through 2017.

So, the Warriors are in good shape because their core is intact. Curry is inked to a long-term deal, and it’s reasonable to think that both Thompson and Barnes could be inked to long-term deals in the coming years. That’s if the duo proves to be functional together. Rumors have floated around that Thompson could be traded, but those talks mainly existed in the days leading up the trade deadline. They quieted as the Warriors marched into the playoffs, coincidentally.

Obviously, there’s more to a successful formula than just three players, but a solid core is the foundation of an elite team.

A huge part to the Warriors’ success in 2012-13 was David Lee, a recently announced member of the NBA’s All-Third team. He has had his value questioned constantly because Golden State thrived with him playing minimal to no minutes during the playoffs, which ignited the talk of how much the Warriors truly need him. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past month, Lee tore his hip flexor in Game 1 of the first round.

Over a short sample size, the Warriors flourished without Lee. And there’s evidence to support that claim. However, a true testament to Lee’s value can’t be deemed accurate unless it’s weighed over a full season, which, unless he gets injured, won’t be an experiment actually instituted.

The point, though: Barnes and Thompson being invited to the mini camp confirms that the Warriors’ youth will be the foundation of their success.

Tags: David Lee Harrison Barnes Klay Thompson Stephen Curry Team USA

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