The 2017 NBA Finals ended like most thought it would: with the Warriors holding the trophy, and Kevin Durant being named the MVP. Golden State, having been hated on all year long, finally has something to show the haters. Life is good in the Bay right now.
With all that being said though, what’s next? When the fireworks die down and the offseason gets into full swing, the Warriors will have some questions to answer.
One of them being about Steph’s partner in crime, Klay Thompson. His role had dwindled, his fame and production has dipped and he’s due for a massive payday the Warriors may not want to give. The Warriors undoubtedly want to keep Klay on board as long as possible, but it may not be a cake-walk to convince him to stay.
Those questions about Klay may seem far-fetched, but it’s impossible to ignore the possibility of him choosing to play elsewhere when his contract is up. So, much to everyone’s surprise, one of the first moves of the summer could be by the defending Champs, who could want to move Klay before he chooses to leave. Here are the top 5 destinations for the second splash bro if the Warriors chose to trade him this summer:
Los Angeles Lakers
This one could seem doubtful to most, but a Laker - Warrior trade could actually make sense. The Lakers could offer the Warriors D’Angelo Russell, Nick Young, and Larry Nance Jr in exchange for Thompson. The trade would allow the Lakers to acquire a big a name, while keeping some young pieces on the board and would allow the Warriors to keep their shooting talent up (D’Angelo and Nick), while adding some young depth their front court as well. Laker fans might hate the idea of giving up D’Angelo, but with L.A. getting the number two pick this year to make up for it, they’d have enough incentive to pull the trigger.
How much scarier would the Warriors be with Paul George? He can shoot, rebound, and score in about ten different ways. Better still, he can play either the Small Forward position or the Shooting Guard position. That’s the scenario we’re looking at for a PG-Klay trade. The Warriors could exchange Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala for Paul George and CJ Miles. Because PG is already rumored to be leaving the Pacers next summer, Indiana would be pressured into making this trade. Also, adding Iguodala in the trade would save the Warriors over $5 million in the salary cap.
Avery Bradley is very similar to Klay Thompson. Of course Klay is better, but Bradley can shoot and defend the rock at a stellar pace. If the Warriors want to save a little cash and get a decent return on Klay, then a trade with Boston for Avery Bradley and Jaylen Brown wouldn’t be a terrible choice. Jaylen Brown adds a young, tough dog to the mix. And for the C’s, they’d finally have a star to pair with Isaiah Thomas. Thompson would make a dramatic difference for the Celtic’s backcourt defense.
Goran Dragic and Steph Curry would certainly make an unusual backcourt pairing. But if any team could make it work, it would be the Warriors. Dragon would provide shooting and playmaking for the Dubs. And if you add in Justice Winslow to the trade, it wouldn’t be a terrible arrangement. With Klay on the squad, Miami would give other stars (like Blake Griffin or Gordon Hayward) an incentive to come to the Heat. With Chris Bosh just about done, the Heat organization needs a fresh start. This trade would help them get there.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Warriors are a little weak at the Center spot. With Enes Kanter, it would definitely help fix that problem. Kanter and Andre Roberson for Klay seem strange at first, but the combo would work well in Golden State. And a Russ - Klay backcourt would be absolutely insane. The trade brings balance for GSW, and star power for OKC. It could work.