After Klay Thompson tore the ACL in his left knee during the 2019 NBA Finals and Stephen Curry fractured his hand in October 2019, the Golden State Warriors planned a strategic year off. The Dubs got their bonafide big man, James Wiseman, in the top draft pick and were all set for a redemption season in 2020-21.
However, the Golden State Warriors' title hopes might have come to a premature end as Klay Thompson suffered a season-ending Achilles rupture during a pickup game in Los Angeles.
After the Golden State Warriors received the news, they were forced to scurry for a replacement and many NBA Trade Rumors around the team have surfaced since. Although Klay Thompson's injury is a major blow for the franchise, the Warriors already had a year off and they can't afford to waste Stephen Curry's prime years waiting for Thompson to return.
3 Players the Golden State Warriors can target to replace Klay Thompson to be competitive again
Although not many players can replace Klay Thompson in the 'Splash Brothers' backcourt, a player can certainly fill in as a short-term solution. That looks like the Golden State Warriors' plan, as they have applied for the Disabled Player Exception worth $9.3 million.
As the name suggests, the Disabled Player Exception allows a team that is over the cap to acquire a replacement for a disabled player if the injured player in question is bound to miss a significant period of time. Since the Golden State Warriors have applied for said exception, let's evaluate 3 players they can acquire to replace Klay Thompson and be competitive in the Western Conference again.
#1 J.J. Redick
In 2015-16, Stephen Curry put up an inconceivable season that earned him the first-ever unanimous MVP. Although Curry is often regarded as the greatest shooter ever, that particular season's 3-point percentage was led by J.J. Redick. The New Orleans Pelicans guard has cemented his stature in the league as an elite shooter from deep. He is a career 41% from beyond the arc and would complement Curry brilliantly in the backcourt.
Many NBA trade rumors have surfaced linking J.J Redick with the Warriors, the latest by ESPN NBA Insider, Brian Windhorst. Although he isn't the defender that Thompson is, Redick can certainly be a replacement for Thompson on the offensive end.
#2 Derrick Rose
The NBA's youngest-ever MVP, Derrick Rose would be an ideal addition to the Golden State Warriors backcourt. Although he isn't the shooter Klay is, Rose is a veteran playmaker and would allow Stephen Curry to move to the shooting guard position due to his combo-guard quality. Derrick Rose has been linked to the Golden State Warriors in the past, most recently when GM Bob Myers compared Rose to Thompson and said the two players are the most respected in the league.
Myers' statements sparked a flurry of NBA Trade Rumors, with fans requesting that Rose be traded to the Warriors. It isn't hard to imagine a Rose-Curry backcourt and even if head coach Steve Kerr plans to bring Rose off the bench, he would be the rotational point guard, in the mold of Sean Livingston.
#3 PJ Tucker
Although this name would surprise many people, P.J. Tucker has been heavily linked with the Golden State Warriors via NBA Trade Rumors. The forward wouldn't be a traditional replacement at Klay Thompson's position but could provide for much needed-defense and 3-point shooting. He is a career 36% shooter from behind the arc and played as a shooting guard in his first year with the Phoenix Suns.
Tucker would be critical in rotations, taking Kelly Oubre Jr. or Andrew Wiggins' position. Bleacher Report suggested Tucker as a replacement for Klay Thompson post his injury, which led to numerous NBA Trade Rumors tying him to the Golden State Warriors. The Houston Rockets' current situation is uncertain and that could lead to Tucker eventually moving to a different team, possibly the Warriors.
Published 23 Nov 2020, 04:40 IST