Proposed Blockbuster Sees Warriors Trade Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.

Getty Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors are on top of the world right now. But just one summer from now, that won’t be the case. Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle put it best in one of his recent articles:

“One day in the relatively near future, the Warriors will face a financial reckoning. How they emerge from it could shape the franchise’s long-term future,” he wrote.

Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole, and Andrew Wiggins will all be in need of contract extensions next summer. However, with how much the Warriors are set to pay in taxes, they likely won’t be able to pay all of their core guys.

Up to this point, Golden State has shown no hesitancy when it comes to spending. Well, that was the case until they let both Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II walk in free agency, instead choosing to sign cheaper options.

This isn’t to say that they won’t be willing to pay their core guys, but at that point, they’re looking at having five close-to-max contracts on the roster. From a financial and logistical perspective, it seems highly unlikely that they are able to keep all of Green, Poole, Wiggins, and Thompson.

And as painful as it may be, Thompson could end up being the odd man out. Poole and Wiggins look to be core pieces of Golden State’s future, and Green’s game is completely irreplaceable. Having Poole around should help compensate for losing Thompson.

But if they’re thinking about letting him walk, they might as well explore sign-and-trade opportunities next summer. Here’s one potential option.

Potential Thompson Sign-and-Trade Next Offseason

In this deal, Thompson would be heading to the Chicago Bulls, who will undoubtedly be looking to push toward contention in the next couple of years. For the deal to work, Nikola Vucevic would likely have to take a pay cut, but something could be figured out salary-wise.

Here’s the outline of a potential deal:

Warriors receive: Alex Caruso, Coby White, Derrick Jones Jr., 2027 1st-Round Pick

Bulls receive: Thompson

This may not seem like a massive return for the Warriors, but it’s important to keep two things in mind. One, the whole purpose of the Warriors making this move would be to save money. And two, at Thompson’s age, he’s not going to get a huge return on the trade market anyway.

That being said, this deal could still work out nicely for both sides.

Why Both Teams Make This Trade

Starting off with the Warriors, the main reason is one that has already been mentioned – to save money. They would snag Caruso, sign White to a sort of prove-it deal, and stick Jones at the end of the bench. Meanwhile, Thompson would likely sign for somewhere in the mid-$20 million range in Chicago.

Caruso would be a great rotational piece for Golden State to utilize as they attempt to compete, while White would be a great player to take a chance on as they look to develop their young core. Nabbing a protected first would also be a nice touch.

For the Bulls, this is the sort of trade that could help catapult them toward the top of the East. Is Thompson enough to get them there at his age and with his injury history? That much is unknown. But with where they are at as a franchise, they need to take some risks.

Losing Thompson would sting for Warriors fans, but even if they decide to keep him, they have some tough decisions on the horizon.

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Mary Gallien
Mary Gallien
11 days ago

IMO Klay should be a Warrior for life. He is along with Curry & Draymond the core of this team. I hope the owners know how important these guys are to each other’s success & therefore the team’s success. IMO Looney, Wiggins, & Poole all showed growth & potential in the season & playoffs enough to be a part of this team,too. I hope the league changes the rules concerning luxury taxes because Warrior’s owners are being punished for growing their team the right way, through the draft.

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