Klay Thompson is concluding his fifth year in the NBA and is currently playing in his third consecutive NBA Finals. Thompson a career 42% 3-point shooter averaged 22.3 points this past regular season. Thompson’s numbers have been very constant throughout the past three seasons of his career. Averaging 20 plus points, fewer than 4 rebounds, and a little over 2 assists. Each one of the those years Thompson played a critical role in helping the Warriors reach the NBA finals and winning one championship.
The 2016 NBA basketball season was different for Thompson despite sustaining similar numbers throughout his career recently. Thompson went from a big three with Curry and Green, to what seems like the odd man out with the addition of Kevin Durant in the 2016 free agency. Thompson is averaging 10 fewer points in the current 2017 playoffs than he did last playoffs where he averaged 24.3 per game. Entering the NBA finals Thompson took 286 fewer shots than he did all of the post season last year, while seeing both his 3-point field goal and normal field goal percentage drop.
Thompson will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2019 NBA season. The Golden State Warriors need to make some choices that will impact them in the long run over the next few months following the NBA finals. Both Kevin Durant and Steph Curry will be unregistered free agents following this season and will be looking for max money. Both Durant and Curry expressed no interest to look elsewhere and look forward to signing huge deals likely tying them to Golden State for the remainder of their career.
It seems as though the Warriors are in perfect shape to be one of the most dominating teams in decades. However, does Thompson belong on this super team? It is clear to most basketball fans that Thompson is a great shooter and provides solid defense night in and night out, however, what could you get for him if you were the Warriors? Assuming all the Warriors money will be tied up in Durant, Steph and, then worrying about Green in the 2020 free agency.
The Philadelphia 76ers are a big question mark as the 2017 season concludes. Will Ben Simmons be able to run the point guard? Will Joel Embiid be healthy for a whole season? Who will win Rookie of the Year between Dario Saric and Embiid? What will they do with all the draft picks in the near future, Third overall in 2017 and four second round picks, unprotected Lakers pick in 2018 and our own pick, and the unprotected 2019 Kings pick. The only two players who I guarantee will be on the Sixers when next year starts are Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid – Combined for 31 NBA games total.
The 76er’s are a silently rising team in the Eastern Conference who showed great hope for the future as they finished the season with the same amount of wins as the two seasons prior, 28 wins. Joel Embiid has proven if healthy he can play at an All Star level and help change the fortune of this franchise so desperate for a superstar to emerge. In the month of January the 76ers had a winning record of 10-5 and were 7-2 with Embiid in the lineup where he averaged 23.4 ppg, 9.1 rpg, and 2.6 blocks for the whole month. Embiid was rewarded with one of his three Rookie of the Months this past year.
The Sixers look forward to getting back first overall pick, Ben Simmons, and seeing what they need to add to start their rise to the top of the east. The Answer; Klay “Splash” Thompson. The Sixers need a veteran leader with real NBA experience who is a lock down defender and a lights out shooting guard. If the Warriors do not have plans on paying Thompson top dollar in the next two years another NBA team will. This is the chance the Sixers take a giant step forward. The Sixers should offer Golden State their third overall pick this upcoming draft, Robert Covington, and Dario Saric for shooting guard Klay Thompson.
At first glance that seems crazy, but as you think about it, maybe it’s perfect for both teams? The Golden State Warriors will be able to add a player such as college freshman stand out, Josh Jackson to play with Curry, Durant, and Green. Jackson, of course, unproven in the NBA seems as though he will be a great two-way player, who offers tremendous athletic ability and a devolving jump shoot. Robert Covington a proven defensive player who will guard the others team best player, and will provide Golden State with clutch three’s late in the game. If the Sixers don’t have series long-term plans for Covington (Who will be a free agent following the 2017 season) the Sixers should deal him while they can. Golden State does not need the same production anymore. The Warriors lead the NBA in points per game with 118.3 and held opponents to 102.1. The Warriors would be getting this production back between everything the Sixers send them, and more – It did not seem to affect them game one of the finals when Thompson only scored 6 points, but Golden State won easily 113-91.
Finally, Dario Saric, there is not much to say besides, “He’s da wookie of da year.” Saric got better and better as the year moved on. I hate to see Saric go, but if the Sixers move him, they will look to send him out West and not to Boston. Saric seems like the perfect 6th man for Golden State. The Warriors will be getting younger and will be able to pay their superstars without a problem. The Sixers, with Klay Thompson, will be receiving the elite shooting guard they need to pair with Simmons and Embiid. Thompson will amp up the energy of the Wells Fargo Center to an even greater level. Thompson will bring the championship caliber leadership needed to this young Sixers team.