It’s the question in front of the Golden State Warriors right now: Would you include Klay Thompson in a deal to get Kevin Love?
My answer is yes. I’m a Thompson fan but Love is a unique player who provides a skill set that takes the Warriors up to legitimate contender status in a way Thompson does not. Of course, the Warriors’ Jerry West and Steve Kerr — both jump shooting guards — disagree with me (and others) so the talks have stalled.
Include Andre Iguodala with West and Kerr in those that want to keep Thompson. Iguodala was on SiriusXM NBA Radio and talked about it, as transcribed by Monte Poole at CSNBayArea.com.
“I want to clear that up right now: We should not trade Klay Thompson,” Iguodala said on Sirius XM.
“I tell Klay every day. I text Klay and say, `Don’t worry, I’m your man. I’m going to make sure you get paid. I’m going to get you the max (maximum contract). You’ll be taken care of. Don’t stress.’”
Players stick by their teammates, particularly publicly. Derrick Rose will not publicly recruit even elite players because he doesn’t want to seem disloyal to the guys in the locker room now. It’s not a shock Iguodala sticks up for Thompson.
Right now Thompson is a top flight two guard and on his rookie contract, so he’s a steal. It’s not going to feel that way when he starts making $10 million plus on his next contract in a couple years, and once he gets a raise it’s going to lock in the Warriors roster in a lot of ways.
But the leap from “cusp of a contender” to “actual threat to win it all” is a harder one than it can appear, and sometimes it requires painful sacrifices and hard decisions. Maybe sticking with Thompson works for the Warriors, but if it doesn’t this could be a moment of regret as they watch other teams keep winning big in the West while they look on from the second round.
Joel Embiid is officially 7’0″ tall and 250 pounds, although when you see him in person now that number seems low, he looks thicker and stronger.
Justin Beiber is a 5’9″ waiflike person.
So of course, they arm wrestled at the club Hyde in Los Angeles. It went about as you’d expect. Here is some video, hat tip to Dan Devine at Ball Don’t Lie (arguably the best arm wrestler in the NBA media).
If you’re about to make an “at least Embiid didn’t get hurt” joke, be more creative.
Hopefully, we get to see what Embiid can do on the court this fall, where the competition will be a lot tougher than any Canadian pop star.
Larry Sanders is talking about getting back into the NBA. He walked away in 2015 to say he needed to deal with anxiety and depression, to find a balance in his life. Recently he told Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders this:
“But I feel like I’m in a much better place right now and I’m equipped to be able to put myself in that situation again.”
But where? A lot of teams could use an athletic big who averaged 1.4 blocks per game over the five years he was in the NBA, although with the conservative nature of NBA front offices they will not want to take much risk (Golden State reportedly thought about it and decided not to offer him a contract).
Sanders decided to ask Twitter where he should go, putting Twitter’s poll feature to good use.
The question becomes, where is there mutual interest from any of these teams?
If Sanders and his agent can win a team over in an interview, the contract will be small and the number of guaranteed years is not exceeding one (if even that). From the perspective of an NBA team, Sanders has to prove himself again.
But never underestimate how many chances big men get in this league.
(Hat tip Eye on Basketball)
Anderson Varejao was spending the past couple days helping his nation prepare to host the 2016 Olympics in less than two weeks, including carrying the Olympic flame.
But now he is on his way back to the United States to have his chronically bad back examined. Again. From Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group.
The Warriors re-signed Varejao on a one-year, veteran minimum contract where he will make $980,431. He is expected to back up Zaza Pachulia at the five spot, although his run would have been limited (which is good, he’s not terribly effective anymore).
A variety of injuries — back, Achilles, wrist — have meant the most games Varejao has played in a season since the 2010-11 season is 65. Last season that number was 53, the final 22 of it with the Warriors.
If Varejao can’t go or is limited, the Warriors may look around at other options. But the pickings are slim at this point.
Hopefully, this does not develop into something chronic.
After a promising rookie season and an impressive Summer League in Orlando where he averaged 18.8 points per game, Thunder second year player Cameron Payne had surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot, the team announced Monday. Here it is from the Thunder’s press release.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Cameron Payne underwent a successful procedure today to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.
The team is optimistic he will be ready to go by the start of the season (there is usually a 6-8 week timetable), but Payne and the Thunder need to be patient here. The fifth metatarsal is the bone that runs from the base of the little toe up to the ankle on the foot. While surgery can repair it, healing can be slow because that is not an area of the foot with great natural blood flow. The Thunder were down this road before with Kevin Durant, he came back eight weeks after the surgery but ended up needing a couple more to get everything fixed and missed 55 games because of it.
Payne played well as a rookie and is expected to see a healthy bump in playing time next season as a scoring guard off the bench behind Russell Westbrook. He just needs to get right first.