5. RJ Barrett, New York Knicks
The Warriors could deal Klay Thompson for a veteran piece, a player who can help maximize their chances of winning over the next couple of seasons. The other road is to move Klay for a younger player, someone who can grow into stardom and help to extend the primes of Steph and Draymond. That’s what the San Antonio Spurs pulled off with Kawhi Leonard.
If they go that route the cost will likely be greater; teams value their young players, and to add someone who is young, under contract and playoff-tested is not the easiest task. Even so, it’s possible that the Warriors could target a player on the New York Knicks like RJ Barrett.
Klay Thompson would give the Knicks a shooting presence they don’t have at any other position, and his championship experience would help a good team chase greatness. For the Warriors, they would be chopping a decade off of the age of their wing, hoping for the upside Barrett has flashed at times (including in the World Cup this summer).
Barrett could either start at the two or come off the bench as a super sub, a more controlled version of what they asked of Jordan Poole a season ago. Barrett is a really good passer and an underrated defender, and if his shot doesn’t abandon him he could become a reliable wing, one of those players that are brought up in All-Star conversations but never chosen to one.