The Golden State Warriors clearly want to build their roster around D’Angelo Russell, but like Stephen Curry, he’ll need a Klay Thompson.
The success of the Golden State Warriors isn’t due to any one player.
Yes, Stephen Curry is the most notable name. He has two league MVPs and has the league’s only unanimous MVP. He has the most accolades, but the team isn’t winning a single title without Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
That said, this offseason, the Warriors opted to complete a sign-and-trade that brought in 23-year-old All-Star D’Angelo Russell. They signed him to a max contract that’ll keep him in the Bay for the next four years.
By that time, it’ll be Russell’s team.
Curry will be 35 and won’t have the same dynamic quickness and ability to get to the basket, but if he’s still playing, his three-point shooting will make him an asset regardless of how of a liability he may be on defensive.
For Russell, if he’s going to be the player that’ll lead the Warriors into the future, he’ll need a Klay Thompson-like sidekick to help cover his flaws. That’s what’s made Golden State so successful the last few seasons.
Thompson’s ability to perfectly cover every flaw in Curry’s game has allowed Curry to thrive like no other player in league history. They are truly the perfect combination. Now, the Warriors, who have a 23-year-old superstar, need to find his sidekick.
With limited cap space, the Warriors need to develop a capable player to be that perfect fit. Is it Jacob Evans III? Can the former first-round pick take the step to truly contribute? What about Jordan Poole, the team’s 2019 first-round pick?
Poole was nominated as one of the draft’s best shooters. But, can he help cover up Russell’s lacking defense like Thompson did for Curry? There are many questions when thinking about who may be the team’s next Klay Thompson, but there may not be a clear answer.
Thompson is a unique player. He’s been to five-straight All-Star games and has averaged over 20 points per game and over 40% from downtown over the last five seasons as well. He’s a talent that is typically underrecognized.
That said, Russell needs his own Thompson, and the Warriors need to figure out how to get him that player if they’re determined to keep Russell for the long haul.