NBA Rumors: Klay Thompson Could Be 'Surprise Trade Target' For Sixers In Potential Ben Simmons Blockbuster

Klay Thompson urging crowd to cheer louder
Gettyimages | Harry How
Basketball

The Philadelphia 76ers are expected to be one of the most active teams on the trade market in the 2021 offseason. With their inability to win the NBA championship title this season, there are growing speculations that the Sixers could finally break their young superstar duo and use Ben Simmons as the main trade chip to improve their roster around Joel Embiid.

In the past months, the Sixers have already been linked to teams that could express a strong interest in acquiring Simmons this summer. One of the potential trade partners for the Sixers is the Golden State Warriors.

Warriors & Sixers Could Explore Klay Thompson-Ben Simmons Trade

Klay Thompson showing the back of his jersey
Gettyimages | Ezra Shaw

According to Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report, Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson could be a "surprise trade target" for the Sixers in the 2021 offseason. Thompson may not be on the top of the list of the Sixers' targets, but Hughes believes that they should strongly consider trading Simmons for him if Damian Lillard and superstars of the same caliber won't be available on the trade market this summer.

"If superstars in the Damian Lillard tier aren't available, and if the Sixers are completely certain that Ben Simmons can't be on the roster to start the 2021-22 season, Thompson—or at least the version of him we all remember—could be the best return they can get," Hughes wrote.

Klay Thompson A Perfect Fit Alongside Joel Embiid

Klay Thompson practicing his shooting
Gettyimages | Thearon W. Henderson

Thompson may not have been seen in action for the past two years but performance-wise, most people would agree that he would be a much better fit alongside Embiid than Simmons. Aside from his ability to excel in an off-ball capacity, Thompson could also efficiently knock down shots from beyond the arc which would make it easier for Embiid to penetrate the opposing team's defense and focus more on dominating under the basket.

"His spot-up shooting, off-ball movement and quietly serviceable pick-and-roll ball-handling would fit cleanly into Philadelphia's offense, providing more space for Joel Embiid to pulverize foes in the paint," Hughes added.

Klay Thompson Gives Sixers A Boost On Both Ends

Klay Thompson waiting for the ref's decision
Gettyimages | Ezra Shaw

Trading Simmons for Thompson would undeniably be a risky move for the Sixers. However, if he could assure them that he's on his way to full recovery, he would undeniably an incredible addition to the Sixers. His potential arrival in the City of Brotherly Love would help them improve their performance on both ends of the floor.

Thompson would give the Sixers a very reliable scoring option, a decent passer, rebounder, perimeter defender, and floor-spacer. In 78 games he played in the 2018-19 NBA season, he averaged 21.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

Does Trading Klay Thompson For Ben Simmons Make Sense For Warriors?

Ben Simmons making plays for the Sixers
Gettyimages | Kevin C. Cox

Trading for Simmons would undeniably be worth exploring for the Warriors. Simmons wouldn't only give the Warriors an All-Star who is a solid-two way contributor, but also a young player who could bridge the gap to the next era of Warriors' basketball when Stephen Curry officially retires.

However, it remains a big question mark if the Warriors are willing to sacrifice Thompson to acquire Simmons this summer. As most people think, the Warriors are eyeing to engage in a blockbuster deal to acquire another superstar but not in the expense of any member of their championship core.