Bulls Considered Landing Spot for Warriors 4-Time Champ

Chicago Bulls

Getty Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates

Could the Chicago Bulls be a landing spot for Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson? The five-time All-Star is coming off of a successful championship run with the Dubs. But they have some “tough choices” that could see him in another uniform before all is said and done.

Golden State is facing a luxury tax bill that governor Joe Lacob says is untenable. But it would be the cost to keep together their historic – and aging – core.

All three of its key players are in their 30s.

In light of that, Heavy’s Sean Deveney asked a Western Conference executive if certain landing spots made any more sense than others for one star, in particular, Thompson. Would he make sense for the Bulls?

Klay Thompson Makes Sense for Bulls

“Chicago should be looking to retool around Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball in two years,” argues Deveney, “with the contracts of DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic (even with an extension) likely up by that time…an ace floor-spacer would be of the utmost importance, and Thompson probably will still be that.”

We’ve heard that the Bulls are prime candidates for a big move at next season’s trade deadline. And even that some could see them blowing it up.

That might seem surprising given all of the rhetoric coming from the organization about continuity. But this is something that Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports the Bulls are fully prepared for if things go awry.

Barring a trade, the executive could see the timelines matching up between the Bulls and Thompson who has two years and just under $84 million remaining on his five-year, $190 million deal.

“They have a short window with the current group and they know that,” the exec said of the Bulls, “I’d expect they would look at 2024 as an opportunity to drop somebody in next to LaVine who can keep things going…those guys would love playing with him.”

Thompson, who would be 34 years old at the time (one year older than DeRozan is now), averaged 20.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.8 assists during the regular season for the Warriors.

He played just 32 games after two years of battling back from Achilles and ACL injuries over the two previous seasons.

But the former 11th-overall pick was still effective, splashing threes at a 38.5% clip. That was the lowest mark of his career but would have tied with Coby White for fourth on the Bulls last season.

Bulls Don’t Make Sense for Thompson

For as much sense as Thompson might make for the Bulls even at his advanced age and like still-high price, is the benefit mutual? This is a two-time All-NBA selection and Olympic gold medalist after all.

He has also spent his entire career in the Bay Area and, at that point, the Bulls might want to go in a different direction, says Deveney.

“There’s no personal connection to Thompson with the Bulls…A younger target makes sense”

The exec agrees that the change in location could be enough to nix the idea.

“Does Klay want to go to Chicago and freeze in the winter? Can he put that boat in Lake Michigan? Doubt it (laughs).”

He also argues that Thompson “wouldn’t want to leave voluntarily”.

And that there might not be a player happier in their situation than Thompson. But he admits he could be the odd man out almost by default due to his age, injury concerns, and higher price tag than teammate Draymond Green.