The Cleveland Cavaliers are winners of 4 straight heading into the All Star game. They are also reportedly going to be buyers at the trade deadline. A report from USA Today and quoted in a CBS Sports report has a top trade target for the Cavs actually on the market: Klay Thompson.
Considering the heightened expectations this season and the fact that Golden State owner Joe Lacob means it when he says he’s trying to build a championship team, it’s safe to say the Warriors aren’t content with their current standing (sixth in the Western Conference). They have one of the most aggressive front offices in the league, and rival executives are of the belief that anyone not named Stephen Curry or Andrew Bogut is up for discussion.
From the CBS Sports article:
And Klay Thompson is a young, lights-out shooter (most of the time despite struggles for the past two months). Why is he movable? Draymond Green is cheap, an excellent defender and against all odds, a decent enough shooter. Why would you move him?
Thompson is a lights out shooter with good height for his position. He has been paired with Steph Curry to form a great shooting backcourt. For the Cavaliers he would slide seamlessly into the starting 2 guard position and provide a dynamic shooting threat to go with the drive and kick game of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, if Waiters is not moved in the deal. Going small with Irving, Watiers, Thompson, Luol Deng and any one of the Cavaliers’ current bigs would make for a tough cover for any team and Thompson and Deng’s size would allow them to adequately guard the bigger positions.
Two huge questions linger here: 1) Why would the Warriors trade him? and 2) What would the haul have to be?
CBS addresses one reason the Warriors may trade him, Green. Its also possible that the team is looking for a more dynamic athlete and more defense from that position with offensively strong players in Curry and David Lee. The team also has to look long term, can they sign Bogut, Thompson and Harrison Barnes while still holding on to Curry and having Lee’s contract?
What the Warriors would want in return is a big question but we know it would be a lot. Probably starts with Jarrett Jack and the Cavs ’14 first round pick. Add another first rounder, or two, plus one of the young players on the team. Here is a proposed trade that would work due to the Warriors having a big trade exception:
Jarrett Jack, CJ Miles, and Tyler Zeller plus 2 first rounders for Klay Thompson, Festus Ezeli and Nemanja Nedovic
The Warriors should ask for the world for Thompson so another first rounder, or Anthony Bennett, could be required. The Cavaliers will have to decide how much of their future picks do they want to surrender. How much is Thompson worth? How do you like his fit with the Cavs?