Even the Golden State Warriors are not immune to NBA trade rumors, despite their “super team” status. A fresh rumor has surfaced that has the Warriors dealing one of their core players to a Western Conference rival.
According to iTech Post, Golden State is contemplating a deal that would send shooting guard Klay Thompson to the Denver Nuggets for wing players Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton. It would seem to be an odd time for the Warriors to make a major move, but let’s examine this NBA trade rumor and see how the pieces might fit.
Golden State is coming off a record-setting 73-9 regular season in 2015-16, but they failed to hold a three games to one lead in the NBA Finals against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. That disappointment was followed by the euphoria of signing superstar free agent forward Kevin Durant from Oklahoma City in July. The Warriors now have an incredibly strong team on paper, but how they mesh as a unit remains to be seen.
There have been previous rumors that Klay Thompson’s teammates were unhappy with the way he reacted to the NBA Finals loss to Cleveland. Thompson walked off the court after Game 7 and refused to shake hands with any of the Cavs’ players before heading to the locker room. There have also been recent suggestions in the media that if the Warriors struggle to establish team chemistry early in the season, Klay Thompson would be the “odd man out” and most likely to be traded.
Thompson also ruffled some feathers when he was asked about his role with Golden State following the acquisition of Kevin Durant.
“I feel kind of disrespected that people keep using the term ‘sacrifice’ to describe me and describe us,” Thompson told ESPN. “We all want to see each other do well. But I’m not sacrificing s**t, because my game isn’t changing. I’m still going to try to get buckets, hit shots, come off screens. I want to win and have a fun time every game we play.”
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The Denver Nuggets are a middling team in the NBA’s Western Conference, and could use an injection of star power to help them rise and become a playoff contender. Klay Thompson would certainly help a great deal in that regard — if the team can pry him away from the Warriors. It is very difficult to obtain a star player without giving up a star in return, but this NBA trade rumor suggests that Denver may be able to pull that off.
Klay Thompson is a two-time NBA All-Star and is considered to be one of the best shooters in the NBA (along with his teammate, Stephen Curry). Thompson is coming off a terrific season in which he averaged 22.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, while shooting a blistering 42 percent from beyond the three-point line.
Danilo Gallinari is not on Thompson’s level, but he is also a very good player. Gallinari had a career year in 2015-16, posting per-game averages of 19.5 points and 5.3 rebounds for Denver. Will Barton also had his best NBA season in 2015-16, scoring a career-high 14.4 points per contest off the bench for the Nuggets last year.
On the surface, this NBA trade rumor is not that far-fetched, although it simply won’t happen anytime soon, if at all. The Golden State Warriors are not about to make any significant changes until they see how the currently-constructed team performs. If this team full of NBA All-Stars cannot co-exist and find a winning formula, then management will have to consider changes. However, that won’t happen unless this team underachieves past the halfway point of the regular season.
NBA trade rumors are circulating that Klay Thompson could be shipped out of the San Francisco Bay Area for two good (but lesser) players. The reality is that Golden State will not trade Thompson this summer, and they will only consider trading him at a much later date if he and/or the team disappoints. All eyes will be on the 2016-17 version of the Warriors; it will be interesting to see how the super team experiment works out for a group that was already one of the best in NBA history before adding another superstar in Kevin Durant.
[Photo by Charlie Neibergall/AP Images]