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Klay Thompson happy he wasn’t traded to Minnesota for Kevin Love

Aug 13, 2014, 10:34 AM EDT

Klay Thompson AP

The Cavaliers ended up the winners in the Kevin Love sweepstakes, even though no trade can become official for a couple more weeks due to league rules about trading players just signed to rookie contracts.

But it’s happening, and should Love continue to play at an All-Star level and help LeBron James lead Cleveland to a title, there may be some in the Bay Area who end up having some regrets.

The Warriors were deep in talks to acquire Love themselves, but the Timberwolves insisted on getting Klay Thompson in return as part of any package. Golden State ultimately decided they weren’t willing to part with him, however, so Minnesota went shopping elsewhere.

Thompson, as you might imagine, is just fine with getting to remain with the Warriors.

From Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group:

Backcourt mate Stephen Curry told The Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday he spoke with Thompson about the subject a few times during the process.

“He actually took it pretty well.” Curry said of the trade talks. “Those rumors come around obviously every summer with free agency and teams trying to get better, and it’s going to be hard at some point in your career to avoid it, so he took it well. Obviously, our trade didn’t go through. It didn’t happen, and they’re keeping our core intact, so I know he’s pretty happy with how things turned out.” …

“I’m happy about that,” Mychal Thompson, Klay’s father, said last week on the ESPN LA radio show he co-hosts. “He likes it there. He did not want to get traded. As a matter of fact, he saw Kevin in Vegas during the Team USA workouts and said, ‘Thanks a lot, buddy.’ He was teasing him and said, ‘Thanks for putting my name out there in all the trade things’ because he wanted to come to the Warriors.

“He’s happy to stay with the Warriors. Thanks to Jerry West and Steve Kerr, they wanted to keep those guys together as they should, so I’m looking forward to that.”

None of this comes as a surprise, of course, because not only is the weather much more pleasant in the Bay Area than it is in Minnesota, but the Warriors are a playoff team in the West with a new head coach in Steve Kerr, while Minnesota, even with Thompson and someone like David Lee, would have struggled to reach that threshold.

Thompson is a great shooter to pair alongside Curry, and he’s a capable defender, as well. But he’ll be a restricted free agent next summer, and will be looking for a contract in the neighborhood of a max extension — something which the team may feel is too steep a price.

We’re seeing how it works when a player thinks he’s worth more than his team does in restricted free agency. At that point, it’ll be interesting to see if the Warriors are as happy as Thompson is that they didn’t trade him out of town.

  1. 2016olympics - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Warriors are better off without Love, Cavs got their man, and Twolves got the best young prospect in the league.

    • tigerpork - Aug 13, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      Not sure if the Warriors are better off without Love. For sure they wouldn’t beat the Clippers, OKC, Spurs, Rockets or even the Blazers in the 1st rd of the playoffs.

  2. credible316 - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    As a wolves fan, I’m happy too. Clay is without a doubt one of the best in the league but he would have left within a year or two.

    We will have Wiggins for at least 4 years with the ability to turn him into the face of the franchise.

  3. floreskins - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    He’ll be a Sixer next off-season.

  4. mrmcl - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Is the weather really that important to NBA players? I should think money and winning matter far more — yet EVERY Minnesota story mentions the weather. Contract the cold-weather franchises if it’s such a hardship for these players.

    • spursareold - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      Money trumps all.

      I don’t think it’s the weather that puts off players from Minny. More like the inept organization.

    • wrlegrand - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      Have you ever been to Minnesota in the winter time?

      • spursareold - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:59 PM

        Spend every Christmas there. It’s not much different than dealing with the hot summer climate where I live. You go from your domicile to your vehicle, to your destination, and reverse the process to go home.

      • kopy - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        I’ve split time between Minneapolis and New York. The winters are nearly identical except Minneapolis averages 10 degrees colder in Dec/Jan while New York (and other places along the ocean) gets more snow. It comes down to preference.

        But the weather narrative is tied to Minnesota just like Philly and rowdy fans, so we have to keep repeating it.

  5. arrondior - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Golden State will be kicking themselves. Klay is good… but he’s not Kevin Love good. Love played great last season, and if he improves in Cleveland…

  6. bdoubleoey - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    I think it’s funny that every article about someone coming to Minnesota or not coming to MN they mention the weather, that has nothing to do with it. Boston, New York, Cleveland, Chicago all have similar weather to the Twin Cities. That is a tired, lazy argument.

    • muathjam21 - Aug 13, 2014 at 6:25 PM

      The difference is Boston, New York and Chicago are big market teams. Not only does Minnesota have terrible weather, it’s also a badly-run, small market team. The little things are always emphasized when the situation isn’t a good one.

      As for Cleveland, Kevin Love wouldn’t have looked once in their direction if it wasn’t for LeBron James.

      • campcouch - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:57 PM

        So it’s not actually the weather or the market, it’s what the franchise offers that attracts free agents.

  7. joeksnuffy - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    The trade talks between Wolves and Warriors was not KLove for Klay. It was a much more involved deal. It would have sent David Lee, Klay, and either Barnes or Green to Minnesota. The Warriors would have gotten KLove and KMartin. KLove for David Lee would have been an upgrade from a 18-10 guy to a 26-12 guy. But, KMartin for Klay is a downgrade. Plus, the bench gets weakened. I don’t think this would have improved the warriors, which is probably why they didn’t pull the trigger. but, it was never a KLove for Klay trade.

    • bkbell3 - Aug 13, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      Please, klay is a better defender than martin but martin is a much better shooter and scorer that klay is right now. Klay is a one dimensional chucker who is not very efficient. Love is younger than lee and can stretch the floor and guard bigger players when they go small and he is a better rebounder. Unless klay makes a big leap this year they are going to regret not getting love. It’s much easier to find guys that do what klay does in the league then what love does at the level he does it at.

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