Do you think that it’s realistic for the Dubs to put Klay Thompson the trade block next year? Steve Kyler: 99.8% chance they would never consider it… If LeBron or another ube elite talent becomes possible – maybe, but I’d be beyond stunned. Ownership is ready for the tax bill to keep a dynasty together.
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A sign-and-trade scenario would be the most realistic way for Golden State to acquire James. The Warriors could build an offer around Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala to match salary and tempt the Cavaliers into making a deal, according to ESPN’s Kevin Pelton. To make a sign-and-trade possible, Golden State also would need Kevin Durant to decline his player option and take even less than his current annual salary of $25 million, in addition to moving Shaun Livingston’s salary to a team with cap space. Golden State probably would have to fill out its bench with players making the league minimum.
Anthony Slater: Klay Thompson jokes that he will “request a trade” if Steph Curry doesn’t get him at the All-Star game and then says he wishes last pick was publicized because it would be “hilarious” making fun of them
There is a single reason teams keep sniffing out the availability of Klay Thompson, and it’s far more easily understood than the myriad reasons the Warriors keep telling them no. No fewer than four teams have either reached out or considered reaching out, the latest being revealed as the detested Cleveland Cavaliers.
All four teams, though, along with maybe few others, all reached the same conclusion. They looked at the Warriors, studied their prime core, and concluded that Thompson was the most available member.
Anthony Slater: Klay Thompson on recent rumors: “It shows the Warriors believe in me and other teams want me to be a part of their success.” pic.twitter.com/B6leAYfW5a
Altman was extremely focused on the future in making this trade, a source said. This trade may give James much more faith in Altman as a general manager. It would be hard to believe that Altman could have landed a better trade than the Boston one. He did call the uninterested Warriors about Klay Thompson, a source said.
An interesting bit came up: They apparently offered George to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Klay Thompson. “Golden State said, ‘no,’ talks didn’t go anywhere,” Wojnarowski said to George. “Were you aware that that conversation happened, and could you’ve imagined the reaction throughout the league if somehow you ended up on that team?”
Adrian Wojnarowski: What Paul George and I discussed: Indiana — not Golden State — made that offer. Warriors said no. And that was the end. Tweet is gone below, but some were confused about PG conversation. Here’s the deal: Golden State NEVER offered Klay Thompson in a trade.
On Thursday’s episode of The Woj Pod, host Adrian Wojnarowksi revealed – and George confirmed – that before the Thunder acquired George in a trade with Indiana, the Pacers offered George for guard Klay Thompson.
“I would have looked forward to it, just being in a good situation and a chance to compete for a championship,” George said of a prospective trade to the Warriors. “ It didn’t happen. It’s still fun to team up with a special talent (in Westbrook) and have a chance to compete against that team.”
George said he was aware of the proposed trade, and compared it to the 2011 trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers. Then-NBA commissioner David Stern famously vetoed that trade.
Nick DePaula: As for the recent Paul George / Lakers rumors, Klay Thompson shot that down & told me he hasn’t spoken to PG at all lately. Klay Thompson says his last conversation with Paul George was FIFA video game trash talk texts last summer during the Rio Olympics.
Adrian Wojnarowski: I’ve heard everything to the contrary (that Klay Thompson might want to leave). Exactly what Klay has said publicly is what he feels privately. He loves playing on this team.
NBA on ESPN: Sounds like Klay’s bought in
Still, no team has ever paid anything like that. The Warriors almost certainly won’t. The only way out is to trade one star. Thompson would seem the likeliest candidate. Nobody is ready to go there yet, of course. The Warriors can’t even acknowledge the dilemma — even whisper the chance of a breakup — before they have signatures from Curry and Durant on long-term deals. They will swallow normal-ish tax bills to hunt rings over the next two years.
What’s scarier: Golden State could get better. The core of the team – those four 20-somethings just entering the prime of their careers – aren’t going anywhere. The skill level of Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green is matched by an awareness of what it is they are a part of. Recently, I asked Thompson if he thought about one day being the face of another team. He shrugged. “Yeah,” Thompson said. “It’s just winning is so much fun.”
Thompson himself was aware of the rumor spread by Scalabrine but as he told ESPN’s Marc Stein, he didn’t pay much attention to it. “Steve [Kerr] and Bob [Myers] came up to me and told me it was nonsense,” Thompson told Stein on the TrueHoop podcast. “It don’t really try and pay to much mind to it, because I know how the media circus works these days. It’s a 24-hour news cycle and you have to pump out some stories. It just didn’t bother me too much. When you’re not playing as well as you should, there’s always speculation. So I let people speculate, the media speculate.”
Thompson, though, wanted to talk to Scalabrine about the rumor when the Warriors defeated the Celtics 104-88 in Boston on Nov. 18. Yet Scalabrine was nowhere to be found. “I tried to find him in Boston, but I couldn’t find him,” Thompson said. “Scal was ducking me. It’s all right. I’ll see him at Oracle.”
General manager Bob Myers, in an interview with 95.7 The Game on Wednesday afternoon, did his best to put out any lingering doubt that Thompson will remain a Warrior. “We’re not trading Klay,” Myers told the station. “That’s the short answer.”
“I know Scalabrine, I know him. I represented him. Just call me,” Myers said on 95.7. “Call me and say, ‘Hey man. I saw this. I’m gonna go on the radio. Is it true?’ And then it’s over.” But since it gained so much traction after Scalabrine publicized it, Myers was forced to assure Thompson it wasn’t true. “I wish there was a little bit more discipline because you know what it causes: I gotta talk to Klay Thompson,” Myers said. “I gotta talk to his agent. And I get it, it’s part of the job. And there are times where rumors have weight to them and meaning, but I think it requires a little bit more diligence then just throwing stuff out there.”
“I told Klay,” Myers continued. “I called him and I said, ‘Klay doesn’t listen to anything.’ He doesn’t even know who we play most of the time, he’s not a guy that’s reading everything. He hadn’t even seen it. Then I talked to his agent. the media is very, very powerful. And we’re in a very public business.”
Before that revelation, though, Scalabrine’s position covering the Celtics and the fact he spent a season as an assistant coach in Golden State gave his words some weight. And, unsurprisingly, they caught like wildfire, to the point where he started a group text message chain with Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and Warriors general manager Bob Myers. On Wednesday night, Scalabrine read the Globe the text he sent to Myers and Ainge. “Hey guys wanted to clarify with you two,” the message read. “Read about trade rumors three days ago. People assume that because I talk to you guys and our relationship [that there is validity]. I just talked about the trade from a basketball standpoint. Sorry that I created this situation for both of you guys. I talk about rumors every day. This one seemed to catch fire for obvious reasons.”
“Were they mad? Well, anytime you have two GMs on a text, they’re going to destroy me,” Scalabrine said, smiling. “They absolutely destroyed me. Are they mad at me? I’m not sure. They could either be completely fun and sarcastic or they could be completely upset at me. I’m not sure yet.”
“Brian hasn’t called me yet,” Steve Kerr joked when asked about it after Monday’s practice. “If Brian wants to call, I’ll get Bob (Myers) on the phone and Bob and I can pick his brain and figure out what we should do.”
“I think our guys know that most of that stuff is almost always just BS,” Kerr said. “If that became a story, I would probably talk to Klay. But I didn’t know it was a story until just now. I’ll go home, get on the Internet and decide whether to call Klay or not. There’s a lot of fake news.”
Except for one thing: Thompson isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. A person with knowledge of the Warriors’ thinking shot down the notion that they’re entertaining trade talks involving the two-time All-Star. Specifically, the person debunked a Warriors-Boston Celtics rumor that was widely circulated after it was discussed by former Celtics player-turned-Warriors-assistant-coach-turned-media-man Brian Scalabrine. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of a team’s personnel discussions.
So while this Celtics situation appears to be nothing more than a rumor, teams will most certainly come calling for Thompson between now and when the trade buzzer bell finally rings. How the Warriors handle those calls, it’s safe to assume, will have everything to do with how Thompson sees his situation.
Sam Amick: On the Klay Thompson-to-Boston front, Warriors are shooting down the notion that there have been any actual talks. Interesting idea though.
Sirius XM NBA: “I heard this weekend that Klay Thompson may be available, I heard that rumor going around involved w/ a team that wears green” @Brian Scalabrine
Klay Thompson on trade rumors: “You’d almost think you’re untouchable, but when your name gets on the rumors… It’s not too shocking because it’s really hard to believe which ones are true, you know? With the media today, there’s so much news and information in every corner… I mean you could find a trade rumor right now if you want to. I was too young to remember the 90’s and early 00’s but ever since Internet you can go to HoopsHype or whatever NBA site you want you can find anything you want and make you feel uneasy.”
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September 30, 2020 | 2:38 pm EDT Update
Michael Singer: Michael Malone, on @AltitudeSR re. Barton: “You can look at it both ways. … There’s certain things that Will Barton brings to our team that other guys just can’t do. … Also allowed us to take a look at Jerami Grant as our starting SF.” Said Will’s still rehabbing in Miami.
NBA Central: Hassan Whiteside says last night’s tweets were fake and he doesn’t use twitter pic.twitter.com/Sp6M9oZsMX
Justin Kubatko: LeBron James will play in his 50th NBA Finals game tonight. Only six others have reached that mark: 70 – Bill Russell 64 – Sam Jones 56 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 55 – Jerry West 52 – Tom Heinsohn 50 – Magic Johnson James is the only player above to do so with three different teams.
Noah Levick: Desmond Bane says the Sixers are one of the 26 teams he’s spoken with and that they have “a lot of interest.” He says Elton Brand wasn’t on his interview and that it was led by VP of scouting Vince Rozman.
September 30, 2020 | 2:30 pm EDT Update
The Sacramento Kings won’t renew the contract of Stockton Kings general manager Anthony McClish, league sources told HoopsHype. McClish spent seven seasons with the Kings in various roles, including salary cap management and scouting.