Klay Thompson is still a Warrior — thankfully — along with David Lee and Harrison Barnes. Golden State also didn’t lose any more draft picks, which, with recent trades, is good considering they were without one in this summer’s draft.
Although no changes were made, the rumors of a possible blockbuster could have its ill-effects on this Golden State squad.
Barnes has no right to be angry with Golden State’s brass for including him in rumors; he struggled mightily last season and perhaps a change of scenery might benefit Barnes in the long run. Then again, the Warriors’ new coaching staff may help him, too.
Lee and Thompson, however, are a different story.
Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher recently wrote a story about the “scars” these rumors will leave on both Lee and Thompson.
I agree with Bucher’s assessment of Lee’s possible frustration with the Golden State Warriors. Back in 2013, Lee was the Warriors’ first All-Star since Latrell Sprewell made the cut in 1997. That season he led the NBA in double-doubles (better than Mr. Love) and was the biggest reason the Warriors made the playoffs — after Stephen Curry — for the first time since the “We Believe” year in 2007.
Some may argue Lee’s worth to the Warriors is less than his statistics suggest because of Golden State’s ability to advance past the Denver Nuggets without Lee.
Sure, perhaps his statistics are somewhat misleading and don’t show the whole picture (i.e., his defense), but he definitely gives the Warriors another wrinkle; he is an important part to the Warriors.
If it weren’t for Curry’s impressive showing against the Nuggets and Golden State fell short, the story would be shifted forcing many into believing Lee is — and will continue to be — integral to this Warriors’ squad.
With that being said, if Lee is feeling betrayed by the Golden State Warriors the sensation won’t last long. He’d realize basketball is a business, like Bucher said, and would move on. However, Lee wasn’t the reason the trade never happened. Golden State almost seemed eager to ship Lee and his large contract to Minnesota making Lee’s possible frustrations completely understandable.
Thompson, on the other hand, is the only reason a trade for Love didn’t happen. The Timberwolves made it very clear a deal would not be made if Thompson was not included. The Golden State Warriors were equally stubborn, never giving in to Minnesota’s wishes.
Bucher included in his article that a source close to Thompson says he is reportedly “pissed” at his name even being included in any rumors.
Bucher’s “source” is either lying to him or doesn’t exist.
Unless Thompson is incredibly egotistical — which I doubt he is, given his mild-mannered interactions with members of the media — he has no reason to be angry with the Warriors’ organization.
Obviously they value Thompson’s talent and what he brings to Oracle night after night, especially his defense. If anything Thompson should feel honored that his organization would essentially choose him over Love (you know, the perennial All-Star who averaged over 26 points and 12 rebounds per game last season).
In fact, he is. Thompson told Marcus Thompson of The San Jose Mercury News:
“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.”
The shooting guard has another reason to be happy he’s still a Warrior: he’s due for a new contract extension soon, which has been reported to be a maximum deal. After showing this much belief in Thompson the Warriors are essentially entitled to give Thompson the contract he desires. They can’t let him entertain any offers from other teams when he becomes a restricted free agent.
A new contract would allow Thompson and Curry’s rapport with each other to continue to grow. If Golden State wants to contend for years to come, they must keep those two together. General manager Bob Myers knows that and will do everything in his power to keep Thompson in the Bay Area.
In terms of fallout, there shouldn’t be any. Lee may be somewhat frustrated but he’ll get over it soon enough. The Golden State Warriors’ chemistry won’t take a hit, although Bucher seems to think it will.