May 19, 2024

Brighton Journal

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“I can never see myself with” Klay Thompson and Draymond Green

“I can never see myself with” Klay Thompson and Draymond Green

Following the Golden State Warriors' 118-94 loss to the Sacramento Kings in the No. 9 vs. No. 10 Western Conference game on Tuesday, Warriors star guard Stephen Curry discussed his future with old teammates Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Speaking to reporters, Curry said, “I can never see myself without those two guys,” referring to Thompson and Green:

While Curry and Green remain under multi-year contract, Thompson is set to hit free agency this offseason and could play elsewhere for the first time in his NBA career.

Curry, Thompson and Green have all been teammates since the 2012-13 season, which was when Green entered the league as a second-round pick.

From 2012 through 2023, the Warriors made nine playoff appearances in 11 seasons. They also made five straight NBA Finals appearances from 2014-19, and six Finals appearances over an eight-year span from 2014-2022, winning four of them.

The Warriors have been the closest thing to a dynasty since the Los Angeles Lakers won three in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and the three constants have been Curry, Thompson and Green.

Golden State is just two seasons away from winning its most recent championship, but fell in the second round of the playoffs last season and has been unable to advance this season with a 46-36 win.

Curry, Thompson and Green are all 34 or older and have performed to varying degrees during the 2023-2024 season.

At 36 years old, Curry continues to perform at an elite level, averaging 26.4 points, 5.1 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 4.8 three-pointers per game, and was the biggest reason the Dubs had a chance to make the playoffs.

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Green was never a scorer, but the 34-year-old veteran contributed in other ways and played largely well, averaging 8.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game, while shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 39.5 percent. Percent from beyond the arc.

However, Green was suspended twice for on-field incidents. The first was a five-game suspension when he got into a tussle with Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert, and the second was an indefinite suspension that lasted 16 games after he punched Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic in the face.

Thompson, 34, suffered through one of the most disappointing seasons of his career, averaging 17.9 points per game, his worst result since his second season in the NBA in 2012-2013.

He also averaged 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 3.5 three-pointers per game. Thompson's .432 field goal percentage was the third-worst mark of his career, and his three-point shooting percentage of 38.7 percent was his second-worst.

Per ESPN Kendra AndrewsThompson wants to return to Golden State rather than sign elsewhere in free agency, but “there wasn't a lot of reassurance that there would undoubtedly be a solution” between Thompson and the Warriors during the season, which “rubbed Thompson the wrong way.”

The Warriors have some talented young players like Jonathan Kuminga, Brandin Podzemski, Moses Mudiay, and Trace Jackson-Davis who could flourish with more playing time.

Letting Thompson walk would undoubtedly create more opportunities for these players, though it would likely hurt the Warriors in the short term.

Golden State is in win-now mode with veterans like Curry, Green, and Andrew Wiggins on the roster, and re-signing Thompson and betting on his return to form would be a profitable move now.

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The Warriors have a delicate balance to strike between trying to compete while they still can and trying to build for the future, and that could unravel the Big Three this season.