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.
“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.