With Klay Thompson expected to miss an extended amount of time after reportedly suffering an injury during a workout, a recent report suggested that the Golden State Warriors could improve their backcourt depth by signing Los Angeles Lakers combo guard Avery Bradley in free agency.
According to Bleacher Report, rumors have suggested for some time that the Warriors might be among Bradley’s suitors if he opts out of the final year of his contract with the Lakers, which will pay him $5 million in the 2020-21 campaign. Although his defensive ability has slightly declined in recent years, the outlet recommended that he could still be a good addition to the Golden State lineup as he is still a capable defender and an above-average shooter from beyond the arc.
“If the Warriors are to contend next season, they’re going to need depth on the wings. Klay Thompson’s uncertain status would throw the rotation out the window and even the most optimistic read on his injury would still indicate they will need to be careful playing him too many minutes.”
As shown on his Basketball-Reference page, Bradley started 44 out of 49 games in the 2019-20 regular season, posting averages of 8.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 0.9 steals per game and shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from three-point range. The two-time All-Defensive selection, however, has seen his statistics decline in recent seasons after enjoying a mostly productive stint with the Boston Celtics from 2010 through 2017.
As further pointed out, Bradley was not involved in the Lakers’ championship run in the NBA’s Orlando bubble as he had opted out of the league’s restart after a four-month hiatus. However, he played 39 postseason games during his time with the Celtics, giving him enough experience to potentially help the Warriors return to the playoffs after a 2019-20 campaign where they finished with a league-worst 15-50 record.
Aside from Bradley, Bleacher Report recommended two other free-agent targets for Golden State, including Denver Nuggets power forward Paul Millsap and Toronto Raptors center Marc Gasol, the latter of whom could serve as a mentor for last night’s No. 2 overall draft pick, James Wiseman.
Although Thompson’s injury will likely put the Warriors’ hopes of returning to the championship hunt in jeopardy, Bradley isn’t the only starting-caliber guard who has been mentioned as a possible acquisition this offseason. As reported by The Inquisitr, Indiana Pacers backcourt star Victor Oladipo was recently brought up as an ideal trade target for the Warriors despite the fact he has only one year remaining on his current contract.