The Golden State Warriors are coming off the best regular season in NBA history, but they are also dealing with the devastation of losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
Losing in unexpected fashion can cause teammates to turn on each other out of frustration, and that may be happening right now in Golden State.
According to The Gospel Herald, some of Klay Thompson’s teammates, specifically Draymond Green, are upset with the way Thompson behaved following the Warriors’ Game 7 loss to Cleveland.
“I just knew that going to the locker room after the game wasn’t right. That’s what a loser does. I’m not a loser. They earned it. They took it from us. It’s right to tell them congratulations. I made sure I got to everybody. The coaching staff. The players. Security guys. Everybody. They earned it. They never quit. I just wanted to make sure I got to everybody.”
— Dime Magazine (@DimeMag) June 22, 2016
Breaking up the Golden State roster would have been unthinkable just a week ago, but failing to repeat as NBA Champions has seemingly changed the view of some within the Warriors organization. Now, they feel that improvements need to be made, and one way Golden State can alter the chemistry on their team is by trading Klay Thompson.
Even though Klay Thompson is an All-Star player, the Warriors may have bigger things in mind. Rumors have been circulating that Golden State would like to sign superstar forward Kevin Durant as a free agent, per the Inquisitr. Additionally, there is strong mutual interest, as indicated by UPI. In order to open up a spot in the lineup for Durant, and possibly free up some cap space in the process, dealing Thompson would make sense.
If the Golden State Warriors are serious about trying to upgrade a roster that won an NBA-record 73 games last season, it will be a risky path to take. They certainly aren’t going to trade NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green has proven to be an indispensable part of the Warriors’ success as well. Klay Thompson has also been on Golden State’s “untouchable” list, but parting ways with the All-Star shooting guard and other half of the “splash brothers” could be the answer.
If the rumors are true that Draymond Green and others within the organization have soured on Thompson following the NBA Finals, it would put him in a precarious position as the team looks to regroup after losing to LeBron James and the Cavs. If there is a solid chance that Golden State could sign Kevin Durant as a result of dealing Klay Thompson, team management may indeed be pondering a move such as this.
Klay Thompson originally came to Golden State as a first-round draft pick, 11th overall, in 2011. He had a good rookie season and has continued to improve every year since. Thompson averaged 22.1 points per game in 2015-16, shooting a stellar 42.5 percent from behind the three-point line. Thompson has been a key member of the Warriors during their runs to the NBA Finals the past two years, and he was named to the NBA All-Star team in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
Kevin Durant is widely considered one of the best players in the NBA, having been an NBA All-Star for the last seven seasons. In the final year of his contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2015-16, Durant posted gaudy averages of 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and five assists per game.
The Golden State Warriors are in the precarious position of having a great basketball team, but at the same time, having to find a way to compete successfully with the team who just defeated them in the NBA Finals. Ironically, trading one of their All-Stars could be the key to winning the NBA Championship in 2017.
[Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images]