At this juncture, W's would err if deal Thompson for Love

At this juncture, W's would err if deal Thompson for Love
July 18, 2014, 3:45 pm
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Lacob is savvy enough to visualize the potential for organizational unease, if not a rupture, should he dismiss the wishes of coach Steve Kerr and chief basketball adviser Jerry West, both of whom happen to be big fans of Thompson.
Monte Poole

Time is passing, the stakes are rising and the heat is on for all those involved in the Kevin Love derby.

All, that is, except for the Warriors.

While the Cavaliers negotiate and posture and tempt and tease, while the Timberwolves negotiate and posture and stew and clutch at their temples, the Warriors should be shrugging and sighing.

If they valued Klay Thompson as much as they claim, they don't budge. Can't budge.

If Thompson was good enough to keep out of a deal that could have delivered Love in June, Klay is good enough to keep out of a deal that might deliver Love in July. Or August.

And it should not matter that the Cavaliers have decided they're willing to move their last two No. 1 draft picks – Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett – as well as future picks. It should not matter whether the Cavs try to include Kyrie Irving. Or even LeBron James.

Those options are – at least should be – completely unrelated to how the Warriors view and project Thompson. It's always perilous and sometimes foolish to change your mind just because others changed their minds.

The Warriors have their reasons for keeping Thompson out of the deal. Their reasons are sound. He is a very good shooting guard, perhaps the best two-way big guard in the NBA. He's on the doorstep to All-Star status. He's the second-best player on the team and provides a fabulous safeguard for All-Star point guard Stephen Curry.

Now there is every reason to believe the Warriors can't be a legitimate championship contender until they add an All-Star caliber frontcourt player. That's why they covet Love. That would have been my rationale, if I were Warriors general manager Bob Myers, for making the trade.

Indeed, that's the basis of Myers' thinking, as well as that of CEO Joe Lacob.

But this is a particularly sensitive time for Lacob and the Warriors. He fired a coach who generated success within a franchise unaccustomed to it. He hired a coach he knew through personal contacts and general impressions – rather than track record. He has to be aware of the outside perception, which is of Lacob being impetuous and injecting himself into the affairs of building a roster.

Lacob is savvy enough to visualize the potential for organizational unease, if not a rupture, should he dismiss the wishes of coach Steve Kerr and chief basketball adviser Jerry West, both of whom happen to be big fans of Thompson.

West essentially drafted Thompson and has watched him develop and add dimension. Kerr imagines Thompson in a new offensive system and sees a player who will become an All-Star.

Everybody in the Warriors' front office understands Thompson's importance as it relates to Curry. Steph's job becomes significantly more laborious and difficult without a sidekick who offers such a comprehensive package.

Then there is this: What will others on the roster and around the league think if the Warriors brain trust is so easily influenced or manipulated by the potential actions of another team?

It matters in professional sport if other teams know they can call your bluff, watch you get desperate and start scurrying about. Watch you abandon your principles.

Assuming everyone's physical status remains as is, the Warriors at this stage have to be patient. Sit it out. Perhaps miss out. That’s still what I'm hearing, as it should be. They have to believe today and tomorrow what they clearly believed for a month's worth of yesterdays, at the risk on losing out on Love.

If a package with David Lee and Harrison Barnes as the primary players isn't good enough, they'll pass.

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