It’s something the Golden State Warriors aren’t prepared to consider. But, trading Klay Thompson might be a necessary move.
The NBA is a business. Each year teams are tasked with making tough decisions regarding their future. For the Golden State Warriors, acknowledging Klay Thompson’s uncertainty is something they must accept.
Thompson suffered the first major injury of his career last season when he tore his ACL during the NBA Finals. It has been over a year since he was cleared to play in full contact basketball but the five-time All-Star has finally begun training with no restrictions on his knee.
This is great news for his recovery process. But, even better for the Warriors, who will now have a chance to determine how damaging this injury will be moving forward.
Thompson is set to make over $150 million dollars across the next four seasons. At age 33, Klay will cash in a massive $43 million dollar check from the Warriors. This is all fine, as Thompson has done more than enough to earn his payday, but it could be troubling for the franchise if he doesn’t make a full recovery.
Paying the Thompson of old this much money is an easy decision. Not only is he arguably the second greatest shooter of all-time but he is also a moderate playmaker and elite perimeter defender. However, paying a slower, less athletic version of Thompson the same amount of money won’t bode well for the Warriors who are already reeling due to a loss of talent over the years.
Some might suggest it’s better to get ahead of the curve and trade Thompson while his value is still high. The popular option is to swing for the fences and package Thompson and a lottery pick for Giannis Antetokounmpo. More realistically, players like Bradley Beal could become available if the Dubs push for it.
It goes without saying that this would be an unbelievably tough decision. The front office hasn’t even alluded to the possibility of trading Thompson. But, if it becomes clear to them that he will not be the same player he used to be, trading the second half of the Splash Bros might be necessary.