The Golden State Warriors were dealt a devastating blow when news broke that guard Klay Thompson had torn his Achilles and will miss a second consecutive season. While this would certainly seem to be curtains for the dynasty, the Warriors aren’t going to go down without a fight and have already made a trade for Kelly Oubre Jr. to bolster the roster in Thompson’s absence.
Of course, Thompson’s shoes will be tough to fill, so the Dubs will look to make even more moves to help out Stephen Curry in his quest to pad his Hall of Fame résumé by winning a fourth title. Curry is 32 years old and not in a position to waste another season, so the Warriors must do everything they can to put him in a position to contend.
Remember, the franchise still has a very attractive 2021 draft pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves available at their disposal to deal, plus Andrew Wiggins’ big contract to use for salary matching and a handful of young players to include as potential sweeteners.
Here are a few more trade options for the Warriors as they scramble in the wake of Thompson’s injury.
3. Buddy Hield
Buddy Hield is clearly one of the most consistent 3-point shooters in the NBA right now. With the Warriors needing to fill a void left by one of the league’s best volume shooters, they might need to give Buddy a long hard look.
In three-plus seasons with the Kings, the sharpshooter has hit 41.6% of his long-range bombs. This past season, he hit an impressive 39.4% of his triples on almost 10 attempts per game. Did I mention that he’s also the reigning 3-Point Contest champ?
Although he clearly isn’t the same defender that Klay Thompson is when fully healthy, Hield gives the Dubs an opportunity to stay just as potent on the offensive side of the floor. Given Hield’s less than warm relationship with the Kings over the past year, he may just be there for the taking.
2. DeMar DeRozan
Although still one of the best shooting guards in the league, four-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan may no longer be part of the San Antonio Spurs’ future plans given his age.
DeRozan has been a key focal point for Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs since moving there from the Toronto Raptors a couple of seasons ago in the Kawhi Leonard trade. He’s averaging 21.6 points per game during his Spurs tenure so far.
DeRozan’s ability to handle the ball and create his own shots for himself and others would be welcome alongside Curry. Of course, the guard has infamously just stopped taking 3-pointers in San Antonio, so it would be interesting to see if he expanded his range again if he made his way to Golden State. DeRozan has never been a particularly good 3-point shooter, but he did take nearly four per game in his final season in Toronto.
The Spurs have a glut of guards that they’re hoping to groom into serviceable players. Keldon Johnson, Lonnie Walker, Derrick White, and Dejounte Muray could all still figure into the Spurs long-term plans. Their recent 1st round draft selection in Devin Vassell would also need some valuable PT, which may leave the All-Star the odd man out.
1. Zach LaVine
If the Warriors are looking for a bucket-getter, then Zach LaVine might be the answer. The Chicago Bulls guard has become a walking bucket for the Bulls in recent years, putting up a career-high 25.5 points per game this past season. It’s no question that the two-time Slam Dunk Contest champion would add an interesting dimension to a Curry-led offense.
Even with LaVine dropping multiple 40-point games last season, his time in Chicago hasn’t really worked out in terms of winning, so he could be looking to move on. The talented guard would be in a position to succeed next to Curry, especially with all the attention the future Hall of Famer gets on offense.
The Bulls were reportedly trying to pursue the Warriors’ second pick this year in an attempt to move up two spots. The Warriors wound up grabbing James Wiseman at No. 2, while the Bulls went with forward Patrick Williams at No. 4. Now that Thompson is officially out for his second consecutive season, the Warriors might want to open trade talks again with the Bulls with LaVine in mind.
Of course, Chicago would be looking for a haul in return for its best player, so Golden State would have to come to the table with a strong offer. But given LaVine’s youth and sky-high potential, he may just be another piece worth investing for if you’re Golden State.