Klay Thompson has officially been ruled out for the upcoming season after tearing his Achilles’ tendon during a pick up game Wednesday. Thompson was unable to put any weight on his leg following the injury, fearing the worst.
The return of Splash Brothers has been officially been delayed indefinitely. Thompson missed all of last season after tearing his ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals. The Warriors were ready to make another title run with the trio of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson all returning healthy. Now with this blow to the organization, it doesn’t seem they’ll be contenders this year.
Tough Blow For Golden State
Prior to the injuries, Thompson had been one of the league’s most durable players. Throughout his career, he has not missed more than nine games any season.
The injury is devastating news to basketball fans all around as well. Klay is arguably the best two way guard there is in the league and the top shooter. Being able to hold his own on the defensive end among top tier players. Along with his smooth silky shooting form, with the ability to explode for 60 at any moment.
During his tenure with Golden State, Thompson has been a franchise corner stone. In his most recent campaign, Klay averaged 21.5 points, 2.4 assists, and 3.8 rebounds. All while continuing to be among the best shooters in the league shooting 40% from three. Klay Thompson has had his fair share of historic Warrior performances. The 60 points on 11 dribbles against the Indiana Pacers, an NBA record 14 made three pointer against the Chicago Bulls, 37 points in one quarter against the Sacramento Kings, and his 41 point shooting barrage game six against the Oklahoma City Thunder back in 2016.
Kelly Oubre Jr. Traded To the Warriors
The Warriors have made moves to adjust to Thompson’s injury. Trading away a top 20 protected 1st round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Kelly Oubre Jr. This isn’t going to help put the Warriors over the top, but it will make them competitive for a top three seed.
However due to Oubre Jr.’s contract, he may be among the most expensive acquisitions this offseason. Golden State’s tax bill was at $66 million prior to the trade. Now with Oubre Jr set to make $14.4 million this season, he would take the Warriors to $134 million in the luxury tax. Just by adding Oubre Jr.’s salary, Golden State are paying $82.4 million for him to be on the team.
The Youthful Wings
If the Warriors want any chance at contending for the NBA title this season, Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. will be the key to this. They will have bigger roles this season, with Wiggins likely being the second option.
Oubre Jr. had his best year last season averaging 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Not to mention shooting a career best from behind the arc at 35%. In his 42 games with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Andrew Wiggins averaged 22.4 points, 3.7 assist, and 5.2 rebounds. In his 12 games with the Warriors, Wiggins averaged 19.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists shooting 34% from three.
With Thompson out, the sole focus of defenders is now Stephen Curry. Commanding multiple double or triple teams during a game. This is where Wiggins and Oubre Jr. must thrive in the offense. If Golden State wants any chance to contend next season with the Los Angeles Lakers, these two must continue to produce and knockdown shots as well as defend at a high level.