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Klay Thompson excited to still be with Warriors, thinks they can win title next season

Aug 25, 2014, 1:22 PM EST

Klay Thompson AP

Klay Thompson just made the Team USA roster for the World Cup, is the guy his bosses in Golden State refused to put in a deal for Kevin Love, and he’s up soon for his extension to his rookie contract.

No pressure this year, Klay.

Thompson heard his name in the Love trade rumors and from the start said he wanted to stay in Golden State and has told Marcus Thompson of the Mercury News he was happy to be staying put — because the Warriors can win it all.

“I’m happy. It makes me feel great,” Thompson said. “The Warriors believe in me. That makes me want to work that much harder. They believe in me and Steph, they believe in the team we have. I believe in us too. I think we have all the ingredients to win a championship.”

A championship? With this roster?

“Absolutely,” he said. “I think a lot of it hinges on our health. Our ability to improve our offense. Me and Curry have another year together. Another year with Andre Iguodala. Another year under the belt for Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green. We know what we’re going to get from David Lee consistently. Andrew Bogut’s coming in healthy. If Festus comes back and play like he did his rookie year, that’s huge. We’d have another big body and we need that, especially in the West. It’s going to be a grind.”

I’m not on board that train, but Thompson is right that the Warriors would need a lot of things to go right to contend — Barnes needs to take a huge leap forward, Stephen Curry has to stay healthy, Andrew Bogut has to stay healthy, Festus Ezeli does have to step up, Shaun Livingston has to be a big addition, and Steve Kerr has to get more out of the Warriors offense while getting them to keep playing top five defense.

On top of all that Klay Thompson is going to have to have the kind of monster season that makes you think “good thing they didn’t trade him for Love.” He is improving and is a fantastic two-way player, but the Warriors need a big step forward out of him.

(All that wouldn’t be enough in my mind, they are in the second tier at best in the West, behind the Spurs, Thunder and Clippers.)

That said, I like that Thompson thinks the Warriors could win it all. You want guys to be invested and think they have a chance. Thompson does that at least.

And he should be happy to still be in San Francisco.

  1. seasickcecil - Aug 25, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    I’m excited he’s excited.

  2. tomasekradek - Aug 25, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    He’s right they look great on the paper, he’s wrong about contending. I hve no idea why they’re not contenders with that squad but they sure have very little chance to win it all.

    • topdawg4ever - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Bench isn’t deep enough and no big guys who are healthy.

  3. 00maltliquor - Aug 25, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    I put them in the contender category. A longer shot then some others but still contending.

  4. philyeagles5 - Aug 25, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    If both their bigs stay healthy, they’re contenders.

  5. joeksnuffy - Aug 25, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    Stop with this trading Klay for Love nonsense. The trade was never that. The trade under consideration was David Lee for Love and other pieces. Rumor was that it was David Lee, Harrison Barnes, and Klay for Kevin Love and Kevin martin. The warriors didn’t want to include Klay in this deal. I agree with the warriors that this is not a good deal. You get an upgrade at the forward position from 18-10 to 26-12. But, Kevin Martin for Klay is a downgrade. And including Harrison weakens an already weak bench. So enough with the Klay for Love BS. It just makes you look ignorant, especially from a pro basketball website.

    • wrlegrand - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      joek,

      It might have weakened them for this year, but it is hard to argue that they would have probably been better off in the long term. Would you rather pay Klay or Love the presumed max contract? Do you think a team would be more likely to get another start to play along Curry/Klay or Curry/Love? I think the answer is fairly obvious in each case.

      Yes, they probably would not have fared any better this coming season, but could easily have pushed into that upper echelon with two years had they pulled the trigger on this trade…

      • zoomy123 - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        Exactly. People don’t understand that it’s much easier to get complementary pieces (and make no mistake, that’s exactly what Klay is, a complementary piece) than to get a top 10 player. If you have Curry and Love and you need a SG, then go get Shumpert from NY. They’re practically trying to give him away. He’s not as good a 3-point shooter but with Love and Curry he wouldn’t need to be. Plus, he’s a vastly superior defender than the overrated Thompson. In fact, Curry-Love-Shumpert is exponentially better than Curry-Thompson-Lee. Not even debatable.

      • Lujah - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:40 PM

        Take your love and shove it. Nobody cares. Why do you people keep trolling. Move on. Klay Thompson is a future superstar. Deal with it. And I love the big 3 of curry, klay and Lee. You wouldn’t even be here trolling and talking about GSW if it weren’t for those three men. And yes they are better than that trio you so desperately want. Love is with the cavs now. Go to one of those articles and be happy.

      • bkbell3 - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:58 AM

        Lujah, Klay a future superstar” lmao. He might be if he could get his career per higher than 13.9, oh wait, he did last year when he got it up to an incredible 14.4 with the league average at 15per and love’s per at 26.9 and 3rd in the league last year.And just who did he lock down on defense last year? I keep reading some people who say he covered the other team’s best player every game.lol Well every team in the league has someone who does that, someone has to and that’s crap because that fell to iggy most times. You know the guy who actually is a good defender. Don’t get the hype for this guy, yes he shot 40% from the 3 but 43% from the field which is good but he is a one trick chucker.

    • zoomy123 - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      I’m starting to get really annoyed with people who are basketball illiterate. The difference between Kevin Love and David Lee is NOT the difference between 18-9 and 26-12. That’s like saying the difference between Paul George and LBJ is the difference between 21-7 and 27-7.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        Zoomy…

        You’re right…

        But you have to learn to deal with it because John Q. Public = Mo Ron

        Being a fan of a player or a team doesn’t mean one has to suspend all logic and reason either… but so many do…

      • Lujah - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        And you presented no difference. David Lee could put up 20 and 10 almost every night. Love is unnecessary. He shoots three’s (which a PF shouldn’t even do) and that’s nice but the question is would he average the same numbers as a third option? Or will his numbers be closer to lee’s this year. I would say we’ll just have to wait and see but I honestly won’t be paying any attention to the cavs.

      • zoomy123 - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:14 PM

        Again, more basketball illiteracy. Did you just say a PF shouldn’t shoot 3’s? Did you just walk out of the 1990’s? LOLOL! And Love will be a third option behind Kyrie? LOLOL!

      • Lujah - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:22 PM

        You better believe I said it. Because they shouldn’t be.

        He’ll probably be second. They question is if he were third like lee how would his numbers look?

        Again, stop trolling. Go jump for joy on a cavs article and stop whining about kevin love not being on the warriors. You just want to see some lame superstar team up and have no respect for what was built the last couple seasons. Worry about your own team(s).

      • zoomy123 - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:56 PM

        Yes, you did say it, but you’re wrong. There’s a reason why stretch 4’s are so valuable in the NBA. Do you even know what effective field goal percentage is? Or points per shot?

        Also, how Love would fare as a third option is irrelevant: He’s a top 10 player in the league; he wouldn’t be a third option on any team. That’s like asking, how much would MJ score as a third option. Completely irrelevant.

      • ogfotw - Aug 25, 2014 at 11:52 PM

        Your basketball illiteracy is sorely showing the more you talk. While I completely agree the stats that David Lee and Kevin Love are completely different, that doesn’t mean Kevin Love is worth trading Klay and David Lee for. Klay is the best 3 and D player in the league. He’s the ideal role player, one on the verge of possiblly making a leap.

        A stretch 4 is always a fantastic piece, and Kevin Love is the best in the league at that, but what’s the point of all that space if nobody can use it? Outside of Curry, nobody else on the team can break down defenses and get inside. The only type of player that the Warriors should trade for is one that can play make off the dribble.

      • zoomy123 - Aug 26, 2014 at 2:19 AM

        Nobody cares if Klay is the best 3-and-D player in the league. You don’t refuse to trade a 3-and-D role player for a top 10 player. Moreover, Klay Thompson isn’t the best 3-and-D player in the league because he’s an average defender, at best. Even on a team that was top 4 in defensive rating and top 3 in defensive efficiency Thompson had a defensive rating that was 106, which is actually pretty bad. And his on/off splits show that when he was on the floor, the Dubs defense was a mere 1.9 points per 100 possessions better. Similarly, his DRAPM also shows this, which is -.17 (yes, Thompson’s DRAPM is NEGATIVE point 17). Every advanced metric (box score stats won’t help you either) shows that Thompson is not only not an elite defender but he’s barely average. He’s a solid on-ball defender, definitely not elite, but according to the SportVU player tracking data, he’s simply “meh” in every other category. The idea that Thompson is a great defender is little more than myth.

      • zoomy123 - Aug 26, 2014 at 2:27 AM

        Furthermore, Thompson isn’t making any leap any time soon. His handles are still suspect so he can’t create off the dribble, which also means he doesn’t get to the line often so he only has a .147 free throw rate, he can’t create for others, his rebounding numbers are poor, and pretty much the only thing he can do on offense is make spot up jump shots. I don’t think people realize how totally reliant on others Thompson is offensively: More than 75% of the points he scores on field goals are a.s.s.i.s.t.e.d.

      • zoomy123 - Aug 26, 2014 at 2:32 AM

        Finally, Love is not a “stretch-4.” He’s much, much more than that. He’s one of the four most versatile offensive players in the NBA. In the post he’s a monster: he has quick feet, quick hands, great footwork and a series of moves/countermoves in addition to soft touch around the basket. His interior p.a.s.s.i.n.g is also some of the best in the game. He’s also a nightmare in the high post: where he can knock down mid-range jumpers (extremely valuable since those are the most inefficient shots one can take) and facilitate the offense himself by p.a.s.s.i.n.g (he had a 20% a.s.s.i.s.t rate, which is bonkers for a PF). Or he can make it rain from 3. And he doesn’t even need to shoot the 3 to be effective; just the threat is enough. As the roll man, Love is deceptively athletic, showing the ability to fake defenders by feigning a flare out to the 3 point line then quickly getting into the heart of the defense and attacking the rim. And none of this even takes into account that he’s the one of the top 2 rebounders in the NBA. Love’s versatility is historically unparalleled: He’s both the first person since the ABA/NBA merger to average 26-12-4 and the first person in history to compile 2,000 points, 900 rebounds, and 150 3-pointers in a single season. All this makes your argument about space null & void. Love is such a devastating offensive weapon that it doesn’t matter if others can drive to the rim. Name one of Love’s teammates on the Timberwolves who could consistently create off the dribble. Basically nobody, and yet when Love was in the game the T-Wolves had an offense that was statistically similar to the Miami Heat and when he went to the bench the T-Wolves had an offense that was statistically similar to the Milwaukee Bucks, lol.

      • Lujah - Aug 26, 2014 at 4:36 AM

        I didn’t read the rest of your posts completely but I think I understand now. You don’t actually watch basketball your watch stats. ’cause that’s all your posts tell me. I looked this up and that up and don’t have any context.

      • zoomy123 - Aug 26, 2014 at 5:30 AM

        Humans have so many cognitive biases that the easiest person to fool is yourself. It seems so intuitive to us that if we see something with our eyes, then obviously reality must be exactly as we interpret what we see. That’s where the phrase, “Who am I going to trust, you or my lying eyes?” comes from. This is the very reason why science has EMPIRICAL methodologies: to guard against such human bias.

        I’ve watched Thompson play defense with my own eyes. I saw him play good defense against the Clippers in the playoffs and I’ve watched his defense even more on Team USA. When I initially saw Thompson’s defense I thought like everybody else: he actually is a great on-ball defender. But my eyes were fooling me because I couldn’t see the entire context. When I looked at the data it didn’t square with what I thought I saw. And the more I looked the more it became obvious that Thompson is a solid on-ball defender and that’s it. Of course, data isn’t everything, you need both the eye test and data. But in a vacuum data is almost always more reliable than simply using your eyes, which is what most casual fans do.

  6. jvw1982 - Aug 25, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    As a Clippers fan I did not want to play these guys in the playoffs even without Bogut….with Bogut these guys are capable of beating anyone, lets see if Kerr can coach

  7. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 25, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Warriors could be champs if Iggy was in his prime or even close. And if Bogut stayed 100% healthy. And if Harrison Barnes could be productive in a reserve role. But sadly, those things probably wont’ all happen.

  8. Lujah - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    I had hoped the last two seasons that somehow they’d shock the nba world and get to the finals but in 2012-13 I didn’t think they could contend with the thunder and heat. They almost had the spurs. Then 2013-14 I felt like they could beat the thunder and heat but then they get swept by the spurs. With jackson gone and kerr here I’m honestly not sure the playoffs are a lock. I’m still rooting for them to go all the way but I’m not making any predictions.

    The big guys need to stay healthy and barnes and klay need to be consistent. Maybe they should’ve been looking at some kind of trade for greg monroe. They really need a big who can stay healthy.

    • divan22 - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:39 PM

      The Warriors were not swept by the Spurs in 2013-14. They lost to the Clippers in 7.

      • Lujah - Aug 26, 2014 at 4:12 AM

        Huh? Clearly I’m talking about the regular season.

  9. wrlegrand - Aug 26, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    I’m not trying to get in the middle of the above peeing match, but if you honestly think that Golden State is better off LONG TERM with Klay Thompson instead of Kevin Love, then I really question your basketball knowledge (whether stat driven or from just watching the games). For Heaven’s sake, Kevin Love is a Top 10 player in the NBA! You are trying to tell me that you are better of with Klay Thompson and David Lee than a Top 10 player? There are very few such combinations of players that you would NOT trade for a Top 10 player, in any circumstance.

    • Lujah - Aug 26, 2014 at 4:33 PM

      Arrest it, shine a light on it, question it, beat it; I don’t care what you do. You can be more knowledgeable and It doesn’t change anything. Let me be very clear. I don’t care about kevin love nor your subjective ranking of him. I have nothing against him nor martin but I would much rather have klay thompson and david lee. You don’t understand because you don’t watch them play and have no appreciation for what they’ve done. And no I’m not using any playoff appearance argument against love because then I’d have to apply the same to david lee.

      I have nothing against looking at stats but that alone without context will mislead you. How about considering if you move lee and klay that curry will be gone as soon as he can or the impact on team chemistry? This thought that he’d stay because the warriors would be so successful is a little delusional/wishful thinking. How about giving up your core for a one year rental and then watch love go to the cavs next year? Then you’re in a rebuilding phase?

      Look, the warriors problems have been clearly outlined. The bench and healthy big men. Love was never needed. Stephen Curry didn’t get the warriors to where they are alone. It was steph, lee and klay at the core. You’ll seem to be pretty huge love fans so I don’t get the complaining and trolling. Kyrie, lebron and love? Whoa… Why aren’t you on cav’s article praising their superstar team up? That’s all you’ll really wanted to see right? Why are you worried about what the warriors didn’t do?

  10. mnsadsportsfan - Aug 26, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Wishfull thinking. Not happening.

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