Klay Thompson’s return from a torn ACL will have the Golden State Warriors wait for another five-to-six months until he sees the court again, but neither the hardwood nor the company will be the same after an offseason of vast changes.
Besides moving to a brand new state-of-the-art arena, the Warriors have also been part of a wholesale process that has left some carnage, including the loss of veteran Andre Iguodala (traded to the Memphis Grizzlies) and Shaun Livingston, who was waived and consequently retired from the game.
Thompson argues he will miss the two longtime vets — who had been among the pillars of a five-year championship run — but is happy with how the organization managed to fill in the void and got a younger composition.
“I’ll miss Andre’s leadership. I’ll miss Shaun’s savvy vetness. (I’ll miss) Kevin’s talent. He was a true joy to play with,” Thompson told Mark Medina of USA TODAY Sports. “But that’s the nature of our sport. I’m happy with the way we retooled. We got some great young talent. So I’m excited with what the future holds.”
The Warriors re-signed Thompson to a five-year, $190 million contract and extended Draymond Green for four years and $100 million, while setting up a load of additions. Willie Cauley-Stein at center, Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks at the wings, all while taking in account the new blood of the organization in rookie Jordan Poole (drafted 28th overall), Alec Smailagic (39th) and Eric Paschall (42nd).
Golden State swapped out an aging roster, keeping the core of Stephen Curry, Thompson, and Green together while keeping Kevon Looney and Alfonzo McKinnie — and adding a plethora of pieces to put around them.
While there’s no replacement for Durant’s scoring or the veteran savvy of Iguodala and Livingston, the Warriors were able to salvage a decent return while keeping their championship window open for a bit longer after a five-year reign of terror.