Lost in the offseason shuffle to acquire Kevin Love, was the very real possibility Golden State would trade their young shooting guard Klay Thompson, along with Harrison Barnes and former all-star David Lee, to acquire Minnesota’s ubiquitous trade bait. The fact the Dubs even debated sending Klay to Minnesota has him allegedly “pissed,” sources tell Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher.
While it can’t be very comforting to always have to wonder about receiving a call saying you’ve been traded, most athletes — including NBA players — learn to live with that uncertainty. That’s why the tired refrain of “It’s a business,” seems to get uttered every time we talk with a player.
It might seem unfair, but life is like that sometimes. That being said, all the rumors about Klay’s inclusion in a deal to get Love, seems to have ticked him off.
Bucher’s piece for Bleacher Report says as much:
League sources also say they could’ve dealt Harrison Barnes to Orlando for Arron Afflalo in conjunction with the Minnesota deal, which would’ve given them a reasonable substitute for Thompson.
Eventually, they passed on everything because there wasn’t a strong consensus in the organization that they’d definitively be better. And when it became clear that Love would be headed to Cleveland instead of a Western Conference rival, such as the Houston Rockets, it made the need to roll the dice even less enticing.
[Bob] Myers’ attempt to be as honest as possible is appreciated, but it has come with a price. While attempts to reach Lee or his representatives were unsuccessful, a source close to Thompson said the shooting guard is “pissed” that the Warriors legitimately considered moving him.
They didn’t trade him, of course, and any trade scenario between the ‘Wolves and Dubs crumbled when it became clear the Warriors were unable to part with the 24-year-old out of Washington State University. This despite reports Thompson’s agent could be seeking a max-level extension before the October 31 deadline.
Then Cleveland came calling with Andrew Wiggins, and tomorrow the mega-trade sending Love to Cleveland will be officially announced.
Still, as Bucher mentions in his piece, a deal sending Thompson and Lee to Minnesota in exchange for Love probably would have improved the Warriors, despite Thompson’s elite level shooting and perimeter defense. Imagine trying to guard a Stephen Curry, Kevin Love high screen and roll? Which one of those deadly three-point shooters do you hedge away from, and how can you stop either from getting an open look at the bucket in that scenario? Here’s Buc:
Don’t misunderstand; there’s nothing wrong with the Warriors exploring a deal for Love. While one scout said his team would have a field day forcing a Curry-Love combination to defend pick-and-rolls “all day long,” another league talent expert is convinced that Curry and Love are a far better offensive combo than Thompson and Curry and that Love would’ve benefitted the entire team. “I’m way on an island with this, but I believe Love would’ve made everybody on that team better,” he said. “I just value a range-shooting 4 more. Shooting guards are replaceable.”
Then again, Golden State’s management did hem and haw about including Thompson, and Bucher adds that Golden State was the team that initiated the Love discussions, though it’s unclear if they were offering up Thompson from the onset.
While Thompson has every right to be “pissed,” it’s a reminder that no matter how high a ceiling a player might possess, there’s still the outside chance they get moved. Whether a trade happens to free up cap space or simply because management thinks they’ll be better off in the long run without a certain player weighing down the roster while tying up valuable cap space, good — and even great players change teams every summer.
Klay knows this, and he’ll be ready to go once the 2014-15 season tips off at the end of October. Still, the way Warriors brass terminated its relationship with former coach, Mark Jackson – despite the very public support of most of the players — then dangled Thompson, Lee and Barnes in trade discussions for Love, has to be in the back of the mind of every Warriors player not named Steph.
Is Klay right to be pissed?
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