5 players the Golden State Warriors could acquire in Klay Thompson sign-and-trade

The Golden State Warriors are set to lose Klay Thompson - what, if anything can they get in return?
Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors
Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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If Klay Thompson's departure from the Golden State Warriors wasn't disappointing enough, it appears likely that the veteran sharpshooter could be on his way to a direct rival in the Western Conference.

The Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as a strong contender for Thompson, with NBA insider Marc Stein reporting that "LeBron James (is) hopeful, per league sources, that the Lakers can mount a bid to challenge Dallas."

With Klay Thompson's departure imminent, can the Golden State Warriors salvage anything out of losing their franchise legend?

The Athletic's Shams Charania and Anthony Slater also reported on Saturday that the "Warriors are open to participating in a sign-and-trade with Thompson to aid in his earning potential." It's a different situation in terms of the money involved, but there's similarities to when Kevin Durant left in 2019 which saw Golden State get D'Angelo Russell in return.

The Lakers and Mavericks may both have the non-taxpayer mid-level exception at their disposal, yet perhaps Thompson will want something that's at least $15 million per season. That could open up the possibility of the Warriors getting something in return, albeit the return will be far less valuable than a player of Thompson's calibre.

The Warriors will know how impactful these scenarios can be. The fact they were able to obtain Russell for Durant in 2019 allowed them to maintain that salary spot, before they traded the now-Laker to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Andrew Wiggins and a pick that resulted as Jonathan Kuminga. Wiggins became the second-best player on a championship in 2022, and now Kuminga is one of the only shining lights in a rather gloomy state for the franchise right now.

They're not going to be blockbuster names by any means, but let's look at some potential players who could land at the Warriors in a Thompson sign-and-trade with the Mavericks or Lakers: