Brian Scalabrine sent the NBA into a whirlwind Monday when he blabbed about a Klay Thompson being traded to the Celtics on his SiriusXM radio show. What followed was national media outlets like ESPN and Fox turning what was a team broadcaster with an unknown radio show talking about nothing, into real story, even though it wasn’t. Whether or not the rumors are true, it’s possible.
I get the sense the Warriors want to stick it out with Klay on the roster and win with him because he’s their guy. However, they have more than enough offense, and the smarter team move might be bringing in Crowder, Bradley, and someone like Nerlens Noel in a three team trade.
Whether or not the Warriors would trade Thompson, there is a case to be made that the Celtics shouldn’t do the trade. Don’t get me wrong Klay Thompson is talented but their are signs that this might be the wrong move:
Thompson Has Been A Glorified Role Player
Thompson is an all-star caliber player in Golden State, don’t focus too much on the word ‘role player’. What I mean is, Thompson has been asked to do the same things that role players are asked to do: shoot 3’s and play defense. Klay hasn’t been asked to do much outside of that. I won’t go as far as calling him a system player, but the prospect of taking him out of Golden State is concerning. Jerry Stackhouse once went from a 25 ppg player to a 15 ppg player just by switching teams. You never know with a player like Klay.
Can Klay Be #1?
What happens when a defenses main focus is Klay Thompson? We just haven’t seen that yet. He’s been in a place in Golden State where the defense has had to focus on on Curry, and more recently Kevin Durant, before they even think about Klay. So the question as to whether Klay can be your #1 option is still one that’s unanswered. Coming out of college, Klay Thompson wasn’t supposed to be a superstar. In fact, his NBA comparison was… Marco Belinelli, per NBADraft.net. So if the Celtics trade for him, their betting on Klay Thompson’s transition to option #1 being successful.
What You’re Giving Up
Player A: 18.8 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 46% FG%, 32% 3P%
Player B: 18.5 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 47% FG%, 41% 3P%
Who would you rather have? (Did the rebounds give it away?) Well, if the rebounds didn’t give it away already, Player A is Klay Thompson and Player B is Avery Bradley. Avery Bradley has Thompson beat in every single category except points, and he’s only behind by .3. So on top of trading a player with a better stat line, you’re giving up Jae Crowder and your 2017 lottery pick? Do you still want to make this trade?
So there you have it. Klay Thompson might not be all you're making him out to be. Would you still do the trade?