Before LeBron James went to the Cavaliers and Cleveland offered a package that included the last two number one overall draft picks in exchange for Kevin Love, the Warriors were very close to landing Minnesota’s All-Star.
The package from Golden State was centered around David Lee and Klay Thompson, and with the Timberwolves wanting to try to compete now instead of starting over with a drawn-out rebuilding of the roster, they might have pulled the trigger if the Warriors were ready to go.
But ultimately, there was too much concern within the Warriors organization that the defense would suffer if Thompson was dealt, and so the deal was dead.
Thompson gets to remain in Golden State, but he reportedly wasn’t at all pleased that the possibility of him getting traded was even discussed.
League sources also say they could’ve dealt Harrison Barnes to Orlando for Arron Afflalo in conjunction with the Minnesota deal, which would’ve given them a reasonable substitute for Thompson.
Eventually, they passed on everything because there wasn’t a strong consensus in the organization that they’d definitively be better. And when it became clear that Love would be headed to Cleveland instead of a Western Conference rival, such as the Houston Rockets, it made the need to roll the dice even less enticing.
Myers’ attempt to be as honest as possible is appreciated, but it has come with a price. While attempts to reach Lee or his representatives were unsuccessful, a source close to Thompson said the shooting guard is “pissed” that the Warriors legitimately considered moving him.
If Thompson really feels (or felt) this way, he needs to grow a thicker skin.
Trade discussions happen between front office executives constantly — maybe not as much as with Minnesota and other teams once the news that Love wanted out became public, but the fact remains that they’re ongoing nonetheless.
What Thompson should be concerned with instead is whether or not the Warriors will give him the max contract extension that he’s reportedly seeking. If he doesn’t get it and he and his agent believe that’s what he’s worth, he could be headed to restricted free agency next summer, and find himself in a situation similar to that of Greg Monroe and Eric Bledsoe.
That would be far worse (at least financially) than being traded to Minnesota, or anywhere else.