Culture of Hoops

Golden State Warriors in search of star power

Image courtesy of Matthew Addie/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Matthew Addie/Flickr.

The Golden State Warriors are one of the best teams in the Western Conference. They do stand good odds to win the championship this season and they also have much quality and depth in their team. Nonetheless, the team’s management seems to want even more. Apparently, the Warriors are eager to add another superstar to their arsenal and they will most probably do this by trading away Klay Thompson.

The 24-year-old sharpshooter is recording a career season in 2013-14. He is averaging 18.3 points while shooting 43.2 percent from the floor and 40.9 percent from three-point range. He has also made the second-most threes in the league this season. If that’s not enough to make him a great asset for a potential trade, it’s notable that Klay Thompson is still on his rookie deal, which makes him a super cheap asset for any team. He is earning $3.2 million this season and he is on the books for $4.5 million next year, low considering what he brings to the team. So why would the Warriors be willing to trade him away?

It seems that Golden State doesn’t want to settle for anything but the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The Warriors want to become a championship team and they are willing to take all the necessary steps to make this happen. If that means trading away Thompson or even Harrison Barnes, they will do it. The big question now is what they can get in exchange.

Even if Barnes and Thompson were packed together as an exchange for a star, who could that star be? The New York Knicks could consider trading away Carmelo Anthony for the right exchange, as Melo might simply walk away as an unrestricted free agent this summer. Nonetheless, the Warriors would then risk trading two of their most valuable assets for a player whom they end up just renting until this summer. Rajon Rondo is out of the discussion, since the Warriors have Stephen Curry as their franchise point guard. And then what?

Thankfully, the Warriors can absorb a big contract through a Klay Thompson deal. The team does have a couple of trade exceptions. So the Warriors could absorb a player with a contract even up to $15 million. However, just because the Warriors can do it doesn’t mean they will.

The Warriors currently have a total payroll a little above $70 million and such an addition would push them further into the luxury tax area. That’s why, if such a deal were about to happen, it would have to guarantee that the Warriors would reach the championship level instantly and maybe even stay there for the seasons to come.

At the moment, it seems like the Warriors have some bigger issues to solve than just to trade away Klay Thompson. Such a trade might not be the way the team will reach the level it eagerly wants.

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