Opinion, Warriors

Warriors mulling Klay Thompson-for-Eric Gordon trade? (Update)


It’s NBA trade deadline week, which means the rumors have been abundant (and sometimes convoluted), mainly potential blockbusters centering around Dwight Howard and Josh Smith. Locally speaking, on Tuesday we shared the rumor that the Warriors might trade a couple of their minimum-salary players to get under the luxury tax.

In that same piece, we mentioned in passing that Eric Gordon-to-the-Warriors rumors are also out there. We assumed the rumor was just that and the Warriors would be nonfactors come the deadline. But on Wednesday the Gordon chatter has picked up steam. From The Times Picayune in NOLA:

Sources confirm the Hornets would be interested in any trade deal with the Golden State Warriors that would include second-year shooting guard Klay Thompson. But sources indicate the Warriors are reluctant to part ways with Thompson, whom they feel is a young emerging star.

And also:

The hope is that the Warriors are thinking long term and this isn’t just a panic move amid a six-game slump. My guess is that the Warriors still don’t have the balls pull the trigger. But there are pros and cons to the deal from the Dubs’ perspective, so let’s examine them:


  • Gordon is already a better all-around player than Klay and has a potentially higher ceiling. Gordon is a better playmaker than KT, can drive to the hole and get to the line, create his own shot anywhere on the court and, what Mark Jackson would really like, the team isn’t playing with four men on defense with him out there. Thompson has had some really nice games in one-and-a-half seasons with the Warriors, but a lot of times he’s practically nonexistent. It makes you question whether he’ll be as good as the team thinks he’ll be. Sorry to the Klay for this comparison, but it’s like Mike Dunleavy all over again. If the Warriors are all about winning ASAP as they say, the deal makes sense.
  • The Warriors get to shed Richard Jefferson’s or Andris Biedrins’ horrendous contract. As Sam Amico indicates, with Thompson still on his rookie contract, and Gordon getting away with highway robbery in the offseason, the Warriors would have to throw in additional contracts to make the money work, likely one of the ugly contracts between Jefferson (2 years, $21.21 million) and Biedrins (2 years, 18 million).


  • Gordon’s health. Gordon missed 57 games in the lockout-shortened season last year with right knee issues that had to be surgically corrected. He also missed the first 29 games of this season with lingering knee problems. The health factor might just be too much to gamble on with the Warriors already have two other guys with unfavorable medical histories. Gordon would give the team three such players in the starting lineup alone.
  • Gordon’s contract. Gordon just agreed to a four-year, $58 million deal in the offseason. That 13+ this season. 14+ next season. 14+ again after that. 15+ after that. Oof. That’s a lot of time and cash to devote to somebody with injury problems.
  • Size. Gordon is 6-foot-4, undersized to play the two guard. That would give the Warriors a small back court yet again, and it causes problems for the end-of-game lineup. Jarrett Jack, Stephen Curry and Gordon are all guys who should be in at the end of games, but you’re at an ultra-size disadvantage if you’re playing all three at once.
  • Chemistry. Gordon is a scorer who looks to have the ball in his hands, which is exactly the same as Curry. Cliche as it is to say, there’s only one ball. You want Curry to be your go-to guy, but Gordon seems like he would be an impediment to that.
  • Potential of being another Monta. See “Size” and “Chemistry.”

So, TL;DR: Gordon is one of the most promising young players in the game, but he’s also one of the most enigmatic health-wise, whereas Thompson is just an enigma in general. Either way, the Warriors are gambling. At least Thompson comes considerably cheaper and thus easier to move down the road if need be.

But that the deal had serious discussion indicates that the Warriors might not consider KT a long-term solution at the starting two-guard role, which would be a reverse from what was previously assumed to be the front office’s thinking.

For the meantime, the Dubs try to snap out of the six-game funk at home Wednesday night vs. the Suns. It’s Klay Thompson bobblehead night.

UPDATE: Here’s this from Ric Bucher by way of CSNBA:



[photo via]

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