Klay Thompson just made the Team USA roster for the World Cup, is the guy his bosses in Golden State refused to put in a deal for Kevin Love, and he’s up soon for his extension to his rookie contract.
No pressure this year, Klay.
Thompson heard his name in the Love trade rumors and from the start said he wanted to stay in Golden State and has told Marcus Thompson of the Mercury News he was happy to be staying put — because the Warriors can win it all.
“I’m happy. It makes me feel great,” Thompson said. “The Warriors believe in me. That makes me want to work that much harder. They believe in me and Steph, they believe in the team we have. I believe in us too. I think we have all the ingredients to win a championship.”
A championship? With this roster?
“Absolutely,” he said. “I think a lot of it hinges on our health. Our ability to improve our offense. Me and Curry have another year together. Another year with Andre Iguodala. Another year under the belt for Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green. We know what we’re going to get from David Lee consistently. Andrew Bogut’s coming in healthy. If Festus comes back and play like he did his rookie year, that’s huge. We’d have another big body and we need that, especially in the West. It’s going to be a grind.”
I’m not on board that train, but Thompson is right that the Warriors would need a lot of things to go right to contend — Barnes needs to take a huge leap forward, Stephen Curry has to stay healthy, Andrew Bogut has to stay healthy, Festus Ezeli does have to step up, Shaun Livingston has to be a big addition, and Steve Kerr has to get more out of the Warriors offense while getting them to keep playing top five defense.
On top of all that Klay Thompson is going to have to have the kind of monster season that makes you think “good thing they didn’t trade him for Love.” He is improving and is a fantastic two-way player, but the Warriors need a big step forward out of him.
(All that wouldn’t be enough in my mind, they are in the second tier at best in the West, behind the Spurs, Thunder and Clippers.)
That said, I like that Thompson thinks the Warriors could win it all. You want guys to be invested and think they have a chance. Thompson does that at least.
And he should be happy to still be in San Francisco.