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Trading the third pick and more for Klay Thompson makes sense for both sides



By Jack Fritz, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Before you clicked on this article and only read the headline, what was your reaction?

Did you have a tweet saved in your drafts with my '@' in it?

And let me preface this by saying that Klay Thompson is a heck of a player and I get that, but this deal is one the Warriors should absolutely make and it's a deal that adds legitimacy to the Sixers immediately.

So what's the deal?

The #3 pick, Robert Covington and Richaun Holmes for Klay Thompson.

Why is that the deal?

The Warriors are soon going to be strapped for cash. They are going to have to resign Steph Curry this offseason to a deal upwards of $200+ million. If they wanted to keep Kevin Durant, which I'm sure they will, they'll need to resign him after next season. And finally, there's Draymond Green, who is already making $18 million a year annually.

Unless the Warriors want to have absolutely no bench depth going forward, which may be the only reason they lose this Finals, they would be wise to move on from Thompson this offseason. He will be a free agent after next season and right now, he's more of a luxury rather then a necessity for this Warriors team. The Warriors absolutely need Curry, Durant and Green, they don't really need Thompson to continue to winning championships. 

But no, the #3 pick isn't enough to get Klay Thompson from the Warriors.

He's a top 20 player in the league and one of the best two way stars in the game today. It would take more than that to get Thompson from the Warriors.

That's where Holmes and Covington come into play.

Whether you want to admit Robert Covington is good or not is up to you. But he is good and this season he developed into one of the best wing defenders in the entire NBA. Couple that with what should be 35% from 3 point land and you've got a guy that is great for the modern NBA.

Adding Covington, a cheaper 3 and D option, would make up for the loss of Thompson on the defensive side and would still allow the Warriors to be the elite switching defense that they have become. Heck, Covington can even guard 4's if necessary.

And then there's Holmes, who isn't really great defensively but has shown the ability to be a pretty good rim protector and a decent pick and roll defender when engaged. He would be what Javale McGee is for this team, except signed for more years and just as cheap.

Also, the Warriors would have options with that third pick. They could take Josh Jackson to be their Andre Iguodala replacement. Iguodala is a free agent after the season and will be 34. He's shown some signs of slowing down and Jackson's best comp throughout the draft process has been a young Iguodala. Or, they could use it to try to replace Thompson's shooting with a Malik Monk type. I guess if they really wanted to they could trade it for a more proven player to add to their core, but I'm not really sure who would be available or worthy enough of the third pick. Also, if they did do this deal, I bet J.J Redick would be a Warrior. Just a hunch.

Finally, for the Sixers you get Klay freakin' Thompson to fire threes from Ben Simmons passes and Joel Embiid kickouts. He can defend multiple positions and even bring the ball up if Simmons needs a break. A core of Simmons, Embiid and Thompson is more than a good start and the Sixers would be competing for a top 5 spot in the East immediately barring any injury. They would still have the Lakers pick and their own pick next season to continue building this thing and free agents will certainly be more inclined to come here.

The Sixers mantra this whole offseason screams of a team that wants to start to compete right away. That's why the Lowry rumors are out there and why they've been linked to pretty much every free agent this offseason. A trade for Thompson speeds up the rebuilding process for a team that has been rebuilding for 4 years now and that's something I think the Sixers are desperate to do.

Also, part of the Hinkie plan revolved around acquiring enough assets to trade for a superstar. This would be the Sixers version of the James Harden trade. Thompson is more of a known than Harden was, but he's also an undervalued asset that is buried by his own team of fellow superstars. He is ripe for the picking and the Sixers have the assets to pull this trade off and not hinder themselves going forward. They could add Thompson and more with picks in the upcoming years and the loads of cap space that they have.

This is a trade that makes sense for both parties involved.

Now, let's hope Danny Ainge doesn't get any ideas about trading that first pick to get their own superstar and complete that core. 


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