Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson has been the subject of various NBA rumors in past months. There are speculations that Thompson could choose to be his “own guy” instead of staying in Golden State. Will the Philadelphia 76ers be an ideal destination for Thompson?
The Warriors’ commitment to Klay Thompson will be put to the test when he hits the free agency market in the 2019 offseason. With his current performance, there is no doubt that Thompson deserves a huge payday like his Splash Brother, Stephen Curry. However, giving him a max contract will bury the Warriors deep in salary tax hell.
As of now, the Warriors are focused on defending their thrones. Once the 2018 offseason starts, they need to make a tough decision regarding Thompson’s future in Golden State. Last month, Tom Ziller of SB Nation speculated that the Warriors may look for a younger and cheaper replacement for Thompson on the market.
As long as they remain a legitimate title contender, the Warriors won’t have a hard time luring big names in the free agency market. According to Evan Macy of Metro.us, the Warriors should consider trading Klay Thompson next summer rather than letting him walk away as a free agent in 2019. Letting him go without getting anything in return will prevent them from signing a superstar for any more than the mid-level exception.
Once he becomes available on the trading block, several NBA teams will surely make a seductive offer just to add him to their team. As Macy noted, the Philadelphia 76ers could be one of the top trade destinations for Klay Thompson.
“With sharp-shooter J.J. Redick signed for just one year, the role of scoring wing could be available for the Sixers. Many outlets are already contemplating which veteran star the Sixers will be able to trade for or recruite to get to the next level. If the youngsters on the team — paired with an eventually healthy Markelle Fultz — continue to impress Philly could become a great destination for the league’s best players. They also would have plenty of salary cap flexibility for whatever deal Thompson desires.”
After years of tanking, the Sixers successfully built a promising team. They are currently a strong playoff contender in the Eastern Conference. The potential acquisition of Klay Thompson will undeniably make them a legitimate title contender, especially if all of their players can stay healthy throughout the season.
Thompson leaving Golden State is highly possible. Like Kyrie Irving, he might grow tired of playing under the shadow of Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. Thompson is one player who has the capability to lead a team.
However, everything is still in the Warriors’ hand whether they are willing to give Thompson a max contract or not. Thompson already expressed his intention to give the Warriors a discount just to keep their core intact. Still, nothing is permanent in the NBA. Anything can change if the right deal or offer comes along.
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