One of the more frustrating things I’ve experienced as a Warrior fan in the past couple of years is their current reluctance to trade Klay Thompson for Kevin Love. It’s frankly idiotic that they have not done so already and makes me question the intelligence and direction of the front office, who up until this point in the Lacob era have generally made the correct decisions .
Right now though, they are vastly overvaluing Klay Thompson. I love his game, and think he’s one one the 40 or so best players in the league, but Kevin Love is one of the 10 best, and players of his caliber simply aren’t available very often. Thompson is an elite level shooter, but that is pretty much the extent of his offensive game. He can’t create off the dribble or get to the basket at all, making him a decidedly one dimensional offensive player, and moreover that is the exact same dimension that Steph Curry brings to the table. A lot has been made of the two of them being “the best shooting backcourt in the history of the league,” and that’s all fun and good, but the Warriors were a middle of the road offense last season. All that shooting wasn’t that effective in actually generating buckets. Part of that can be blamed on Mark Jackson’s stubborn and stupid rotations, but a lot of it is that the pieces just don’t fit together smoothly. While Thomspon is a great defender, he’s not elite. He still fouls too often and at the wrong times. You can find wing defenders fairly easily, so he’s replaceable in that regard. Losing him will hurt, and definitely make the Warriors a worse defensive team, but the potential reward is oh so worth it.
Kevin Love is one of the 5 best offensive players in basketball, and maybe even one of the three best. If I had to construct an offense from scratch, the players I would pick before Kevin Love are Lebron James and Kevin Durant. The list ends there. Imagine a Andre Igoudala/ Andrew Bogut pick and roll with Steph Curry, Kevin Love, and Harrison Barnes dotting the perimeter. I seriously don’t even know how you would go about stopping that. The Warriors would not only have the best offense in basketball, they would have one of the great offenses of all time. I don’t think that is an exaggeration.
The potential trade being discussed (Klay Thompson and David Lee for Kevin Love and Kevin Martin) is ludicrously tilted in the Warriors’ favor. We’d be trading a quarter for a dollar. You want Harrison Barnes too? Fine throw him in there. How many draft picks do you want? Take them all. You can include anyone on the Warriors roster in that trade except for Steph Curry and I would seriously consider it. What a lot of Warrior fans don’t realize is that there exists the real possibility that we lose Klay Thompson for nothing next year. He will be a restricted free agent, so the Warriors can match any offer other teams give him, but he’s going to demand max level money or close to it, and he’s worth half that. The best case scenario is that the Warriors significantly overpay him and tie up any cap space they have for years to come. Is our current roster good enough to beat the Spurs, Clippers, or Thunder in a seven game seriers? No it’s not. That’s what we’d be locked into for at least a couple of years.
For some insane reason the Timberwolves actually seem to want David Lee and his ridiculous contract. I would probably get rid of him for nothing if I could. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a very good player, but you just can’t be paying the fourth or fifth best player on your team by far the most money and be a serious contender. The fact that he can actually be used as an asset to upgrade the roster is almost too good to be true.
I really do think the Warriors plan to eventually agree to the trade being discussed, and are just playing hardball with the other players and picks involved, but that is a dangerous game. You never know when someone is going to swoop in and make an offer for Kevin Love that the Timberwolves can’t refuse. When someone offers you the opportunity to trade in your Saturn for a Mercedes you don’t hold out for a Ferrari. Pull the damn trigger.