The Golden State Warriors will miss Klay Thompson more than they’ll miss Kevin Durant, according to head coach Steve Kerr.
There’s no denying that the Golden State Warriors roster underwent an extreme change this offseason. They lost Kevin Durant, Shaun Livingston, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Iguodala, and Quinn Cook. Klay will also be at least the first half of the season.
While they did replace most of that production, especially with the addition of D’Angelo Russell, it’s impossible to replace it all. Each one of those players had huge moments for the Warriors; however, the Dubs did their best to replace most of the talent that left.
They added Willie Cauley-Stein, Glenn Robinson III, Alec Burks and three highly-touted rookies. They were able to sign-and-trade for Russell. They even extended players like Draymond Green to ensure the long-term health of the organization.
For this upcoming season, though, none of these losses will be more impactful than Klay Thompson’s absence. Don’t just take my word for it; hear from Steve Kerr who recently talked to The Athletic’s Joe Vardon.
"Klay being out is really the big change. Losing Kevin, Andre (Iguodala), Shaun (Livingston), obviously, those are huge losses. Losing Klay on top of all that really changes the way we’re going to have to play at both ends."
Kerr went on to call Klay an integral part of the team.
After all, what can’t Klay Thompson do? He’s one of the best shooters in the league and can also defend at a high level. He’s an elite two-way threat, and Kerr recognizes his on-court contributions to be among the most impactful on the team.
It’s a big deal that Kerr hypes the loss Thompson more than Durant’s loss though. Durant, a four-time scoring champ and former MVP, can also do just about everything on the court. However, he isn’t as perfect of a fit for this team’s system.
Thompson, who blossomed into a superstar with the Warriors, understands how to play alongside Stephen Curry in a way that maximized both of their potentials. It’s how he plays the game — unselfishly.
So, yes, Kerr is right. Thompson’s absence will be a big blog, but after this offseason, fans can rest assured that they’ll see him both this offseason and well into the future. That said, if you weren’t away, Thompson signed a four-year max contract this offseason.
Fans should sleep happily knowing one of the most impactful players is still a Warrior.