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Report: Warriors hesitant to move Klay Thompson even in potential Kevin Love deal

May 20, 2014, 2:58 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

Golden State is a very good team, but one a notch below the contenders in the West — San Antonio, Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers. Steve Kerr enters with the expectation he will help lead this team to another level (no pressure, Steve).

But whoever is the coach his roster needs more talent — someone like Kevin Love. Which apparently is a possibility. The question is how much of their core would Golden State give up to get Love?

Love has reportedly told Minnesota he will choose to be a free agent in 2015, which has Minnesota realizing they have to trade him. Love has power in this process because only teams where he says he will sign an extension will put decent assets into a trade for him.

Love’s people reportedly have said Golden State is one of those teams. For the Warriors to make a deal work would require David Lee for salary purposes then some younger players that intrigue the Wolves. Who Minnesota will ask for is Klay Thompson, but the Warriors might be hesitant to go there reports Marcus Thompson at the Mercury News.

Ideally, the Warriors could pull it off with a package of Lee, forward Harrison Barnes and the 2015 draft pick. That’s probably the best the Warriors could offer.

A team source said the Warriors don’t want to give up Klay Thompson to land Love. Draymond Green doesn’t make enough to impact the trade financially. That leaves Barnes, whom the Warriors stuck by during his sophomore slump.

Perhaps Barnes and Green, in tandem, would qualify as enough young talent to pair with Lee — but that’s giving up too much as Green has proved invaluable off the bench. Maybe the Warriors could get their hands on another first-round pick to bolster their offer.

I love how much Green improved but you throw him in the deal if you’re Golden State. Talent wins and Love upgrades the Warriors dramatically at the position they most need it, plus it creates a potentially deadly pick-and-pop partner for Stephen Curry. There are a lot of possibilities.

Thompson is a harder call — great shooters who can defend as well are not that easy to come by. That said, if I were the Warriors I would likely still do it because there are more shooters on the market than there are elite power forwards, you can come closer to getting a replacement for Thompson.

The Warriors may have to consider it because teams like the Bulls or Rockets can also put together interesting packages, as could the Lakers and Celtics (depending on how the draft lottery goes). There will be competition.

If the Warriors can get Love they just need to find a way to keep Andrew Bogut healthy, then they are in the mix.

  1. apkyletexas - May 20, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    What in the world do the Lakers have to trade? Certainly not any players.

    • sportsfan18 - May 20, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      with the way the Lakers have run things lately, they do not have anything to trade…

      guess that’s the definition of running oneself into the ground…

      27 & 55…

      • terrence1922 - May 21, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        Kb is a freakin idiot nuff said

    • kb2408 - May 20, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      Evidently you missed the part that said, “depending on how the draft lottery goes.” I guess the other 4 blind mice that gave your comment thumbs up did too.

      • kb2408 - May 20, 2014 at 3:45 PM

        Reading is fundamental.

      • bougin89 - May 20, 2014 at 4:04 PM

        Do you think the Lakers can trade their first round pick this year?

      • billtetley53 - May 20, 2014 at 6:56 PM

        KB, you idiot. It is going to take more than a high draft pick to get Love out of Minnesota.
        Good luck with thst d league roster and trying to put a package together. You dumb laker homer.

  2. readysethike - May 20, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    It would be a dumb move for the Warriors to trade Klay. After him and Currys play have been apart of the discussions of the best backcourt in the NBA why would you break that up. Kevin Love is no superstar.

    • antistratfordian - May 20, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      Love is far more productive than Thompson could ever hope to be, so I would trade Klay for Love in a heartbeat – without any hesitation.

      Being able to say you have “the best backcourt in the NBA” with Curry and Thompson is just a novelty – it doesn’t give you as many advantages as having Curry’s 24 PER at point and Kevin Love’s 27 PER at the 4.

    • sportsfan18 - May 20, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      Kevin Love had the 3rd HIGHEST PER in the league this past season…

      His was HIGHER than ANYONE NOT named Durant or LeBron…

      A PER for an ENTIRE season is NOT an accident, not one or two good games or even a stretch of 15 or so good games…

      He’s an efficient scorer. He scored the 9th MOST points per shot in the entire league this past season…

      That means when the ball left Love’s hands when he shot it at the basket, he scored MORE points per shot than all but 8 others in the league. Being in the TOP TEN for points per shot is impressive.

      It includes ALL shots, 3 pointers, 2 pt shots and free throws…

      Love shoots well from all of those areas (better 3 pt shooting percentage for his career than Melo has).

      Love shoots well from the stripe too with a .815% career mark (again, higher than Melo’s career free throw percentage).

      As far as rebounds, Love is impressive. He averages 13.4 rebounds per 36 min’s of court time. He’s slow, can’t jump, isn’t strong and yet he grabs that many boards… Dwight, super fast, super strong, CAN jump Howard averages 12.9 boards per 36 min’s in his career…

      Super strong, tall and powerful Shaq only averaged 11.2 boards per 36 min’s

      Melo averages 6.5 boards per 36 min’s or LESS than HALF as many boards per 36 min’s as Love does…

      Love has IMPROVED every year he’s been in the league. Take his season from two years ago out when he broke his hand and only played 18 games and his PER has gone UP each season from his rookie year through this past year.

      Now, Love is NOT Durant or LeBron… but then again, NO ONE else is either…

      Love is easily a top 10 player in the league right now… TOP TEN

      1 LeBron
      2 KD
      3 Chris Paul
      4 Blake Griffin
      5 Anthony Davis
      6 DeMarcus Cousins
      7 Kevin Love

      Gets tough now… James Harden, Dwight Howard, Steph Curry, LeMarcus Aldridge, Russell Westbrook, CarMeHog Anthony, Andre Drummond, D Wade, KoMe,

      Buy in a league with over 300 players… a player in the top ten in the league is a superstar…

      Plus, Love will only be 26 this coming season… and that is a much better pickup for a team than say a player who will be 30 this coming season…

      • duhwighthoward - May 20, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        @sportsfan, take your statistics and shove them up your

        You have Chris Paul and DeMarcus Cousins as #3 and #6. What’s the matter with you? Take a look at who’s in the conference finals yet again this year: Tim Duncan and Paul George.

      • JHathwell - May 20, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        And yet somehow he’s got a career winning % in the low 30’s and has never made the playoffs.

        The moral here is that there is more to life than stats.

      • nadoinspincity - May 20, 2014 at 6:50 PM

        Not the worst list although DeMarcus Cousins is far too high. Also Andre Drummond probably shouldn’t be in that group below while Paul George, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan probably should. Pretty much agree with everything else, lots of people talk about Love like he is the worst defender to ever walk on the face of the earth. He’s a slow defender, bad in one on ones and cheats on defense to attempt to grab rebounds but he is surprisingly normally in the correct position opposed to players like Harden and Lilliard who are more often than not hilariously out of position. With a proper anchor Loves defense would be much harder to expose unless they plan on isoing against him every play which isn’t really the best strategy.

        Really after the top 3 its a very arguable order of 10-15 players each with different flaws. When you look at it though the only teams to have two of those players in that exclusive group are the Heat, Spurs, Thunder, Clippers and Rockets. Those 5 teams had 5 of the 6 best records in the NBA and its not really a coincidence.

      • tomasekradek - May 21, 2014 at 3:18 AM

        yet, still hasn’t been to playoffs…. and that’s my friend what matters, screw your PER

  3. duhwighthoward - May 20, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Instead of the Wolves feeling pressured to trade Kevin Love next season before he leaves as a free agent because they will suck, why don’t they improve their roster and go to the playoffs so he will want to stay?

    • antistratfordian - May 20, 2014 at 3:42 PM

      Because he’s going to leave anyway.

      • duhwighthoward - May 20, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        Not if they make the playoffs. Let me help you, there was a post – actually about fifteen of them yesterday about Kevin Love. One of them showed how the T-Wolves can offer him more money than any other team.

        Now, couple that with a team that makes the playoffs, and he has every reason to stay.

      • antistratfordian - May 20, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        He’s still gone. The playoffs won’t keep him there. Say they got in as the 6th, 7th or 8th seed… whoop-de-freakin-do! A championship would probably keep him around, but Minnesota winning next year is highly unlikely.

        There was another post somewhere showing how players are becoming less motivated by money – and I think that has become quite obvious.

      • casualcommenter - May 21, 2014 at 12:03 AM

        I almost never agree with antistratfordian, but he’s right.

        There’s no realistic way the Timberwolves can improve their roster to go from the 10th seed in the West this past year to any better than the 6th seed in the West next year. Decision-makers need to make decisions based on what’s realistically possible.

        Kevin Love isn’t going to sign a 5 year deal to stay in Minnesota if they get the 6th seed next year and get wiped out in round 1. He said he wants to win. Meanwhile, Pekovic just can’t stay healthy for 82 games, and Rubio just can’t score efficiently anywhere on the court, and without Pekovic staying healthy and Rubio adding a jumper to his game, the ceiling on the Timberwolves is low, especially given that the owner isn’t a fan of paying the luxury tax.

        Last, Dwight Howard took less money to leave the Lakers even though they made the playoffs last year, and I have no doubt Love is willing to do the same to the Timberweolves.

    • TheMorningStar - May 20, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      What part of ‘He doesn’t want to play in Minnesota’ don’t you understand?


    • rodyaugu - May 20, 2014 at 11:47 PM

      Isn’t he the biggest reason the haven’t sniff the playoffs in years? he already had the talent around to make the playoffs.

  4. joeksnuffy - May 20, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    I’m a big Kevin Love fan. He seems to absolutely torch the warriors. But, I keep coming back to the fact that the thing that is keeping GSW from getting to the next level is their bench. The warriors starting 5 finished #1 in the entire NBA in terms of point differential. Do they really need that much help in this starting group? David Lee is just shy of averaging 20-10. How much of an upgrade would Kevin Love be? They may have to disrupt this core and/or weaken an already weak bench to get Love. Seems they need to focus on strengthening the bench first.

    • fanofthegame79 - May 20, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      You hit the nail on the head. The Warriors have a good team, but they need depth (especially since Bogut and Lee seem to alternate getting hurt).

  5. kb2408 - May 20, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    It’s amazing that even when the LAKERS aren’t relevant they’re still relevant. I guess that comes with the territory of being the pre-eminent franchise in the NBA for the last three decades.

    • billtetley53 - May 20, 2014 at 7:00 PM

      Its amazing that you STILL dont understand that the lakers are in for some more irrelevant years. That wont stop you from posting your ignorant crap though.

      I reall wish I could see how punchable your face is in person, its just too bad youre such a coward.

      • 1historian - May 20, 2014 at 9:25 PM

        you may have a point but if you keep your hat on maybe no one will notice

        lighten up

      • adoombray - May 21, 2014 at 8:56 AM

        You really need to not let random people on the internet bother you that much. All that hate will kill you

      • billtetley53 - May 21, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        Its not really hate, I just want to punch the stupid out of him.

    • terrence1922 - May 21, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      Dude shut up lol I’ll give you this. You are a true laker fan but your so blinded that you say the stupidest things especially with your playoff picks so lol please shut up.

  6. rrhoe - May 20, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    In the 2009 draft,MIN has not one but four first round picks. In the 2010 draft they had three first round picks,two first round picks in 2011,none in 2012 and two first round picks in 2013. I know the draft is a roll of the dice but DAMN,if I’m him I want out too.

  7. money2long - May 20, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Warriors willing to depart with Barnes and not klay?
    I thought people in pbt were saying Barnes is better

    • spursareold - May 20, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      Barnes has upside, but right now, Klay is the better player. Barnes needs development work. He went backwards last year. If for no other reason than that, I would have fired Jackson. His team was crying out for bench play, and Barnes is regressing on his watch.

  8. teabone413 - May 20, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    love is going to leave minny no matter what b/c he’s still pissed they didnt give him a max deal.

    • ws0001 - May 21, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      Yes, a terrible slight that he clearly was forced at gunpoint to sign. He was so angered that he responded to by never leading Minnesota to being better than 10th in the West. For comparison sake, Al Jefferson took to being moved by Minnesota and later Utah by taking his new team to the playoffs, including what were the historically bad Bobcats.

  9. csbanter - May 20, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    Klay is soft. Yes he can shoot but you’re telling Warrior fans that he’s more valuable than potentially adding Kevin Love. Keep winning those 50 games Utah.

  10. spillz121 - May 20, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    What’s so different from his current situation and lamarcus aldridge’s after last season. He seemed like he was headed for free agency in 2015, and was on an underachieving team. They improved the roster and made it to the 2nd round of the playoffs, and now you have to believe he isn’t going anywhere. Make the right moves and the same thing could happen for the T’wolves. It’s not like they need a complete overhaul in order to do so. Bring in the right coach and tweak the roster a bit and I like their chances.

    • rrhoe - May 20, 2014 at 9:00 PM

      In the 2009 draft,MIN has not one but four first round picks. In the 2010 draft they had three first round picks,two first round picks in 2011,none in 2012 and two first round picks in 2013. I know the draft is a roll of the dice but DAMN,if I’m him I want out too.

  11. unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - May 20, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    In what alternate universe is Harrison Barnes and his career PER of 10.4 an attractive add to any trade package? Dude was overhyped as a prep- mediocre in college- and now below average as a pro. Warriors will add Klay Thompson to the trade offer or watch Love go elsewhere.

  12. norcalsportsknowledge - May 20, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    Kevin Martin
    R Turiaf.
    D Lee
    H Barnes
    M Speights. Salaries = 26mil

    Top 10 player:
    Chris Paul

  13. lightskin350 - May 21, 2014 at 4:47 AM

    Kevin Love, listen to me. Go to Portland and you will win several rings. Love, Lillard and LaMarcus would be the best trio in the game and would dominate.

    • adoombray - May 21, 2014 at 8:57 AM

      The All no defense team.

  14. unxpexted1 - May 21, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    If they are going to trade for somebody down low, at least trade for somebody that can be a defensive presence as well. As bad as the bench for the warriors was and has been, if they had any defensive presence down low they would have at least been out of the second round. Enough of banking on bogut being healthy, its just not happening.

    If i’m the warriors, a tyson chandler is more valuable type of player than a Kevin Love. And they could use the toughness.

  15. kvt7280 - May 23, 2014 at 1:33 AM

    Don’t trade for Love and see if you can sign him as a free agent. The only thing they must do is get rid of some contracts for draft picks. If you find a taker for D.Lee and willing to give up a first rd pick, do it. There’s also Lamarcus Aldridge whom might become a FA if Blazers don’t re-sign him.

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