Mar 9, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) dribbles the ball next to Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) in the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Suns 113-107. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Warriors Willing To Include Klay Thompson In Kevin Love Trade?

The ante has been officially upped in the competition to land Kevin Love from the Timberwolves.

With reports coming out Thursday morning indicating that the Cavaliers are willing to include Andrew Wiggins in a potential trade for Love and that LeBron James is clamoring to play with the star power forward, the pressure now shifts to the other team in the hunt for Love: the Golden State Warriors.

Essentially, the quandary for the Warriors evolves around Klay Thompson and whether they want to give up Thompson in a Love deal. There appear to be conflicting reports; this afternoon, Tim Kawikami of the San Jose Mercury News said the Warriors want to keep Thompson, but in a more recent report, Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders says the team has changed its mind. According to Koutroupis, the Warriors are now willing to put Thompson in the deal because they believe Love will opt in for the 2015-2016 season and not become a free agent.

For the sake of argument, let’s just assume the latter report is true (and it has to be true if the Warriors have any chance of landing Love). If indeed Golden State has softened its stance and is willing to let go of Thompson — coupled with the assumption that the Cavaliers are willing to do the same with Wiggins — then it becomes a question of who Flip Saunders and the Timberwolves want.

On one hand, Saunders could have Thompson, who has been in the league for three years and has improved considerably since his rookie season. Thompson already is one of the elite two-way guards in the league, with the ability to shoot lights-out on offense and lock down his man on defense. He is only 24 and not even in his prime years yet.

On the other hand, he could go for Wiggins, the first overall pick of this year’s draft. Wiggins’ athleticism is off the charts, and his upside is enormous. He could blossom into a franchise player. But he is raw, while Thompson is more developed and well-rounded. No one but Saunders knows what he wants: a proven player who can help out immediately, or a rookie who could become a star or a bust?

There are other factors too, such as the other players involved. The Warriors’ package with Thompson would presumably also include David Lee, Harrison Barnes, and a first round pick. The Cavaliers, however, can throw in Anthony Bennett, last year’s first overall pick, as well as a first rounder. But with LeBron in favor of a deal, do the Cavaliers throw in more pieces if Wiggins/Bennett/1st rounder isn’t enough? Would they consider moving Dion Waiters on top of that, or maybe Tristan Thompson? Also, if the Warriors were to trade for Love, they would have to take back Kevin Martin‘s gargantuan salary. Would they then demand more assets from Minnesota?

A deal probably isn’t imminent in any scenario, considering all the moving pieces. But surely with these latest reports on Thursday, the push for Kevin Love is getting closer and closer to a shove.

Tags: Golden State Warriors Kevin Love Klay Thompson

  • Mike

    Rumor probably STARTED by the T-wolves…….Barnes, Klay , and Lee way too much to give away……

  • thewarriorsrule

    Warriors r so stupid to have let it come this far. They should have traded lee and klay for love and Martin when they had the chance, now wiggins seems like the better offer. Now if they put in Barnes, that would be even more stupid in that they gave way too much for love

  • Richard Truong

    It’s all a smokescreen by Flip Saunders because they know Love is going to leave: the deal eventually they have to take is Barnes, Lee and first rd or Waiters, Bennett and first rd. Both teams would be happy to go into the season without a trade. Nice try Flip Saunders but both teams ain’t budging, he’d prefer Klay and would’ve done it by now if offered Lee, Barnes and Klay even without including Kevin Martin.

    • thewarriorsrule

      Cavs are offering wiggins now

  • methuselah46

    Eric, give it up and stop cheer leading for this trade. Ain’t gonna happen this way. Lee + Barnes + (maybe) a late 1st rounder. That’s exactly what Love is worth. Dubs fans love to hate on DLee, but he’s a damned good player who never takes a night off. He’s put up great numbers on good teams and bad. Played out of position at the 5 without complaint. Even played injured much of the last 2 seasons without making excuses.

    Dubs fans always think the grass is greener on the other side of some lopsided trade. This is a very very good team exactly as it stands. Don’t break it up for merely a marginal upgrade.

    • methuselah46

      Eric, it seems like every other day that you write an article in favor of trading Thompson for Love. The cumulative noise sounds like you’re trying to promote the trade.That’s why I call it cheer leading.