Grade the Trade: Warriors send Klay to Finals rival in bittersweet proposal

Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Laying out a blockbuster trade

The difficulty in trading Klay Thompson is twofold. First of all, it has to be a team that is at least close to contending this season; it doesn't make sense to trade for a 33-year-old on an expiring contract otherwise. At the same time, the other impediment is the size of that expiring deal: Thompson makes $43 million this season.

The approach by the Warriors could be to decrease their salary and therefore their luxury tax bill, but for a team gunning for one last title that can't be the priority. Instead, they could prioritize size and playmaking to shore up their depth for the rest of the regular season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers stand out as a logical trade partner. They are low on wings with size, are desperate enough to make a big swing, and have good players that meet both of the aforementioned needs. Here is what a trade could look like:

Klay Jarrett Allen trade

The Cavaliers get one of the league's best shooters, a player who doesn't merely have playoff experience but has delivered again and again as a part of four title teams. Cory Joseph provides point guard depth that they desperately need.

The Cavaliers may point to Allen's age and reasonable contract and demand a first-round pick from the Warriors; that may have been possible a month ago, but probably not since Thompson has rediscovered his stroke.

If the Cavaliers play ball with this deal, is it one the Warriors should consider accepting?