The long-awaited return of Klay Thompson to the Golden State Warriors last season was undeniably epic. However, the elation was soon replaced by disappointment as the five-time NBA All-Star’s work rate seemed to have failed to meet the threshold.
In all fairness to Thompson, he has had a few upsides in his comeback season: his homecoming at the Chase Center in January and the so-called “Game 6 Klay” in the playoffs. But delving into it a bit, Charles Barkley was right when he said Thompson is no longer the All-Star he was.
With the amount of talent stacked in the current Warriors squad, it’s a bit easy to see why as early as now, the storied franchise should already start welcoming the idea of trading Thompson. Let’s dig in.
Klay Thompson is losing some splash
Thompson has been showing no signs of being hurt, considering he had come off a two-season-long hiatus due to major knee and Achilles injuries. Unfortunately, the good part ends there, as Thompson hasn’t been swooshing like Steph Curry’s Splash brother since his return.
As it stands, Thompson has started in all of the Warriors’ first six games this season. He’s averaging 25 minutes per game, but Golden State isn’t getting the efficiency rate a multi-time All-Star should be delivering.
Since becoming an All-Star in 2015, Thompson never shot lower than 40% from deep. Last season, he dropped down to a career-low 38.5% three-point field goal percentage. But this season, the trajectory of Thompson’s three-point accuracy appears to be heading lower than that, as he started the campaign with a terrible 28.6% from beyond the arc.
Golden State Warriors could splurge on a better player than Thompson
Thompson is currently tied-up with the Warriors until 2024 and is set to make $83.8 million over the next two years. Golden State has become the most valuable team in the NBA, so money isn’t a thing when it comes to Thompson’s contract extension. However, the way he’s been playing so far doesn’t give the Warriors enough reason to offer him another multi-million dollar deal.
Should the Warriors consider trading the 32-year-old Thompson sooner rather than later, there’s a great chance, they could pull off a value-for-money deal involving a younger and healthier player.
Thompson could hinder the rise of Jordan Poole
As commendable a player as Jordan Poole is thus far, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr doesn’t want him to shoot nearly as many shots as Curry. At this point, that perk belongs to Thompson. However, the clock is ticking, and it wouldn’t take long before Thompson and Poole find themselves in a tug of war.
Undoubtedly, Poole is hitting his stride, and if he manages to continue progressing at the same pace, he could be on course to becoming a full-pledged Warriors superstar. Hence, it wouldn’t be a shock if Kerr decides to switch things up and demote Thompson to the bench to make way for Poole in the starting lineup.
The Warriors are visiting the Detroit Pistons tonight. It gives Thompson a clean slate to prove Golden State that trading him should not be on the drawing board yet.