NBA Rumors: Warriors May Need To Sacrifice Klay Thompson To Make Room For Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives on Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on November 8, 2018 in Oakland, California. E
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors are one of the NBA teams closely monitoring Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s situation with the Milwaukee Bucks. Armed with Andrew Wiggins’ massive contract, their own 2020 first-round pick, and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 2021 first-round pick, the Warriors are in a strong position to pull the trigger should Antetokounmpo and the Bucks decide to go in different directions. However, aside from the aforementioned trade assets, the Warriors may also need to sacrifice a very important member of their championship core, Klay Thompson, to be able to bring Antekounmpo to Golden State.

If Antetokounmpo expresses his desire to leave, the Warriors’ potential offer of Wiggins and two future first-round picks would undeniably be too hard to pass up for the Bucks. However, according to Josh Shrock of NBC Sports, it would take more than a gargantuan trade package to accommodate Antetokounmpo on the Warriors’ roster. After successfully acquiring him in a potential sign-and-trade deal with the Bucks, Shrock said that the Warriors would also need to get rid of Thompson and his lucrative contract.

“With Antetokounmpo’s contract beginning at $37.5 million, the Warriors would need to trade Wiggins to make the salaries match and then cut another big salary to get under the hard cap. While the Green is the obvious answer — Steph, Klay and Giannis is a trio that would win multiple titles — cutting Green’s $24 million might not be enough. With Curry, Thompson and Antetokounmpo on the roster, the Warriors would have three players making $122.2 million of a projected $125 million salary cap. There wouldn’t be enough money left over to fill out the roster. With Thompson making $14 million more than Green, shedding Thompson would give the Warriors more financial room to build a team.”

The trio of Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green would definitely be enough to put the Warriors back in the title race. Also, with Curry and Green already in their 30s, the 25-year-old Antetokounmpo would help bridge the gap to the next era of basketball for the Warriors.

No matter what Antetokounmpo could bring to the Warriors, Schrock doesn’t think that it’s worth giving up Thompson. Thompson, who is considered the other half of the infamous Splash Brothers, is one of the major reasons behind the Warriors’ success in the past years, from returning to the NBA Finals in 2015 to winning three NBA championship titles.

However, knowing the Warriors’ front office, they would likely choose to. be relevant again over being honorable. The Warriors were in a similar situation in the past when they were forced to part ways with some of their key players to make salary cap room for Kevin Durant in the summer of 2016. If they think it would help them revive their dynasty, the Warriors are expected to do the same thing once they see that they have a realistic chance of adding Antetokounmpo to their roster.