With Golden State Warriors legend Klay Thompson off to a horrible start to begin the new season, a top NBA insider answers a question many have started pondering in recent weeks: Could the team trade the five-time All-Star?
After they got off to a fast start to begin their new campaign, the Golden State Warriors have slipped into a shocking slump. They have lost six straight heading into Monday and suffered a pair of home-and-home losses to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder in their last four.
While there is blame to go around for the Warriors having a league-worst 1-6 record at home this season, it’s hard to ignore the huge effect that Klay Thompson’s horrible start has had on the team. His 14 points per game is the second lowest of his career, only behind his rookie season in 2011-12. His field goal and three-point percentages, along with his turnovers are the worst of his Hall-of-Fame career.
Thompson has been on an obvious decline in recent years following a two-year absence after tearing his ACL and Achilles, but at 33 years old he has hit a new low point. While the idea of Thompson not finishing his career would have seemed unthinkable a year ago, after he and the team failed to agree on an extension this summer, combined with his poor start, speculation has grown that the team could trade him before this year’s deadline.
Could the Golden State Warriors trade Klay Thompson later this season?
On the surface, it would seem like a hard sell for another team to take on the rest of the $40 million he is owed this season. However, expiring contracts are valuable in the NBA, and a player with a championship pedigree in the final year of his contract could certainly appeal to a contending team or an organization willing to trade and buy him out.
- Klay Thompson (2023): 14.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.1 SPG, 0.4 SPG, 33% 3PT
It was a topic The Athletic NBA insider Shams Charania covered on Monday as he evaluated the likelihood the Golden State Warriors could end their Big-3 era early by trading Thompson.
“Is a Warriors change fathomable? Probably not. The idea of them trading Thompson seems reactionary at best. There are also plenty of ways he can turn it around,” Charania wrote. “… Is it simply a matter of Thompson just making shots and everything snowballing from there? This season’s struggles would be easier to weather if not for him making over $40 million.”
It will be interesting to see what the Warriors do if they clearly are not in contention later in the season. The front office now has a new leader in Mike Dunleavy Jr. and he does not have the deep ties to their legendary Big-3 as Bob Myers did.