Golden State Warriors Roundtable: 5 Questions on the 2014-15 Season

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3. How will Klay Thompson do this season? Will the Warriors regret not making the Kevin Love trade?

December 17, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) celebrates after a play against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Banifatemi: I believe Klay Thompson is going to have a great season. He will be one of the players who benefits the most from Kerr’s new system as he will now be able to play off the ball even more and get even better looks than in the past. The Warriors will not regret not trading him for Kevin Love, as Klay will take this offense to even greater heights than he has in previous seasons. I expect him to be very close to breaking Stephen Curry’s single-season 3-pointers made record.

Marc Grandi: Klay Thompson suddenly has to deal with a lot of pressure. He is the sole reason—although it’s not his fault—the Warriors did not acquire Love. Trying to prove yourself against Love is a difficult task. Nonetheless, Thompson will improve once again, develop his game even further and become even more important in Golden State. With that being said, the Warriors will still regret passing on Love. General rule of thumb: do anything within reason to obtain a superstar. As a byproduct of rejecting the Thompson-for-Love (and other pieces) deal, the Warriors increased Thompson’s leverage in regards to a new contract. He has the ability to demand what he wants and if he’s smart, he’ll ask for as much as possible. While Thompson will be a solid player in the NBA for years to come, I doubt he’ll ever be worth a maximum contract.

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  • Nick Hjeltness: Thanks to his experience with Team USA in the offseason, Klay Thompson’s improvement since last year will be noticeable early in the season, and he’ll continue to grow as the year goes on. While I expect Klay to be right on the 20 ppg bubble this year and his defense is borderline elite, the Warriors will regret not trading for Kevin Love. When you have the opportunity to land a top-5 overall player, especially when you are chasing a championship, you do it.

    Brendan Kennealy: I think Thompson is in line for a career year. He has performed exceptionally well in the preseason, as well as in international play over the summer. The new offensive set will play right into Thompson’s hand, and we should expect great things from him. Will he continue to be a streaky shooter? Most likely. Will he have more hot shooting nights than cold shooting nights? Most definitely. The Warriors will not regret making the Kevin Love deal. Sure, Love has proved to be the real deal time and time again, but Thompson is beginning to show that he is the real deal as well. The amount of talent that the Warriors would have needed to give up in order to acquire Love would not have been worth it in the long run with no guarantee Love would have extended his contract to remain with the Warriors.

    Angelo Mendoza: Klay Thompson could very well see himself become an All-star this season, and I have no doubt the Warriors will not regret pulling the trigger on Kevin Love. I believe that the Thompson that fans saw play overseas for Team USA during the FIBA Basketball World Cup is the same player leading the team in the preseason, and he’ll only continue to be a central contributor to the team’s win total throughout this season. He’s so much more versatile this season, as he’ll likely be looking to add “facilitator” and “inside scorer” to his list that already consists of on-ball defender, deadeye sniper and midrange scorer. He’ll prove the Warriors made the right decision in keeping him rather than trading him for Love, and the sky is the limit for the 24-year-old shooting guard.