A blockbuster trade proposal has the Golden State Warriors trading a franchise icon to one of their top challengers in the Western Conference.
33-year-old guard Klay Thompson, a mainstay in the Warriors’ 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2022 NBA Championship teams, is in the final year of his contract. If the Warriors aren’t optimistic about securing a long-term deal with Thompson, the front office may ultimately decide to shop him ahead of the trade deadline.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 22: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball during the second half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on November 22, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Warriors 123-115. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
At NBA Analysis Network, James Piercey proposed a blockbuster deal that has the Warriors sending Thompson to the surprising Minnesota Timberwolves in a one-for-one swap that has Rudy Gobert coming over to the Bay Area:
“This deal can be viewed through a few different lenses. It looks like a better deal through some than others. The first perspective is obvious: the Warriors are acquiring Rudy Gobert. He’s one of the best rim protectors in the NBA.
Pairing him with Draymond Green could give the Warriors the best defense in basketball. Of course, they’re losing Klay Thompson. That’s a problem, but it’s mitigated by the addition of Paul. The Warriors would still have a starting backcourt.
Ultimately, this deal ought to improve their win-now prospects. It does make their books messier. The Warriors are flipping an expiring deal for a long-term one. That’s a problem, too.
At the same time, if they extend Thompson, they’ll run into the same issue. With that in mind, getting value for him is better than nothing. As Gobert’s deal comes closer to it’s conclusion, it will be easier to move.”
In 2022, the Timberwolves acquired Gobert in a massive deal with the Utah Jazz that included the surrendering of four first-round picks. Gobert and fellow big man Karl-Anthony Towns struggled to generate chemistry, however, and the T-Wolves finished a disappointing 42-40 before losing to the Denver Nuggets in the opening round.
Towns and Anthony Edwards have guided Minnesota to an excellent 12-4 start, placing them atop the Western Conference. Adding another scorer and three-point specialist like Thompson would certainly help Minnesota’s chances of enjoying a deep postseason run.
If the Warriors don’t want to risk losing Thompson for nothing, then getting an elite defender like Gobert would be a giant win for Steve Kerr and company.
Piercey’s trade proposal makes perfect sense for both teams, but of course, Golden State still has time to work out a new deal for one of its franchise stars.