Two potential Celtics offers for Klay Thompson

Two potential Celtics offers for Klay Thompson

BOSTON -- When it comes to the Golden State Warriors, putting up big numbers is what they do.
But earlier this week, there was a number that jumped out like no other this season.

There’s a cost associated with winning, as we all know.
But damn! $1.3 billion dollars!
Just imagine all that  $1.3 billion dollars can buy.
Looking at that price tag, the Warriors are likely to do what most NBA teams do: Seek ways to cut costs without significantly impacting the bottom line, which, for them, is winning.
And that might make Klay Thompson available.
I know. I know. It sounds crazy as hell to think that they would even contemplate moving one of the best two-way players in the NBA.
But the fiscal realities of this new-age NBA, sooner or later, will force teams to eventually make some tough, hard-to-stomach decisions that will be motivated primarily by money.
Kevin Durant is going to be in Golden State as long as he wants. Ditto for two-time MVP Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, players who are all going to be max-salaried players after Curry signs a new deal this summer.


When you factor in the contracts they'll need to fill out the rest of their roster, it’s hard to imagine their Fab Four will remain intact much longer.
The four-year, $69 million contract Thompson signed in 2015 was a great deal, one that Thompson has surprisingly been able to out-perform despite the talent around him.
But when he hits the free-agent market in two years, he'll easily command a contract averaging more than $30 million annually. Moving him sooner rather than later gives the Warriors added financial flexibility in the short-term and long-term.
I’m a big fan of Thompson’s game, and, to be candid, wouldn’t move him. I would let his deal lapse, talk about doing an extension, and move on from there if we couldn’t get a deal done,
But if the Warriors are concerned about losing him and having nothing to show for it, dealing him sooner rather than later might be the wisest strategy.
In comes Boston, one of the few teams that can give the Warriors a player with a similar defensive skillset AND quality assets (i.e., draft picks) that could provide depth at an affordable (rookie scale) cost compared to what they would have to pay for free agents.
Here’s one potential trade proposal.
Celtics Get
Klay Thompson
Warriors 2018 Pick
Warriors Get
2018 Brooklyn Pick
Avery Bradley
Ante Zizic
Tyler Zeller
Boston gets the best player in this scenario, but the Warriors are compensated by adding an elite defender in Bradley plus some frontcourt depth as well, as a likely top-5 selection in next year’s draft.
But if Golden State becomes a stickler for getting the Celtics' No. 1 pick this year, here’s another possible trade scenario that I hate, but might get a deal done.

Celtics Get
Klay Thompson
2020 Warriors Pick
2022 Warriors Pick
Warriors Get
2017 Pick
Tyler Zeller
Marcus Smart
Jordan Mickey
Boston gets its guy in Thompson, but I suspect the Warriors would immediately start shopping the No. 1 pick this year to maybe move down in the draft while accumulating additional assets along the way. Would anyone be shocked if Golden State, should this deal ever came to pass (which I don’t think either team would go for by the way), used the top pick this year to get two or three future picks down the road? Remember, this powerhouse wasn't built by off selecting players at the top of the draft board. Curry, if you recall, was the seventh overall pick in 2009 (and third point guard taken), Thompson was the 11th overall pick in 2011, and Green didn’t get selected until the second round, 35th overall, in 2012.

Blakely: Stevens has this coaching in March stuff down

Blakely: Stevens has this coaching in March stuff down

Sometimes we forget that a big part of why Brad Stevens is in Boston is because of what he has done as a coach this time of year.

He led a pair of Butler teams to deep postseason runs before coming up short in a pair of national title games.

Well, he’s embarking on a different kind of March Madness in leading the Celtics to a string of improbable wins, the latest being a 105-100 victory at Portland on Friday night.

It was the kind of victory that when you start to roll out the reasons why Stevens should be this season’s Coach of the Year winner, folks will use the win at Portland as an example.

The Blazers are not only one of the better teams at home, but they came in having won 13 of 14 games with the lone loss coming to Houston, which has the best record in the NBA.

But what made the victory so unexpected was the cut-and-paste lineup Stevens has employed because of a long rash of injuries.

Kyrie Irving missed his fifth consecutive game and is expected to be lost for another three to six weeks after having a procedure to on Saturday to help alleviate some of the soreness in his left knee.

Jaylen Brown has missed several games with a concussion, but he has progressed to where he's now questionable for the game in Sacramento on Sunday night. 

Boston was also without Marcus Smart (right thumb) who won’t be back until sometime in the playoffs.

And that doesn’t factor in Gordon Hayward (dislocated left ankle) or Daniel Theis (torn meniscus, left knee), both out for the season.

It’s easy to chalk up Stevens’ success to great Xs and O’s work.

But he’s doing more than that.

He’s inspiring a level of confidence in players that generated results exceeding all expectations; that is, expectations outside of their locker room.

Even when this team struggled with no clear signs of hope on the horizon, they didn’t blink.

Rather than use their less-than-ideal state as a justification for poor play, they funneled that energy and focus into becoming a better team - not better players, but a better team.

Because frankly, that is what we’ve seen from this group all season. Of course, you have your star in Irving, but this team has been a get-it-done-or-else squad all year that doesn’t get too locked into the success or struggles of any one teammate.

And that has allowed Boston to withstand the kind of injuries to key players that would have crippled many other teams.

But with the lack of bodies, there has been a lack of respect for how good this team really is.

Stevens has tapped into that and used it to help focus this team on playing great and most important, giving themselves a chance to win regardless of the opponent, regardless of how dire a situation may be.

And that has created the kind of March Madness Celtics fans are absolutely lovin’ right now.



Optimism that Kyrie will be back for playoffs

Optimism that Kyrie will be back for playoffs

Kyrie Irving underwent a left knee procedure on Saturday that will keep the five-time All-Star guard out for at least the start of the playoffs.

The Celtics indicated that Irving will be out for 3-6 weeks.

According to the Celtics, the procedure was to remove a tension wire in his left knee. The wire was originally placed there as part of the surgical repair of the fractured patella injury Irving suffered in the 2015 NBA Finals when he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Removing the wire is expected to lessen the irritation it was causing in Irving’s left patellar tendon.

The fractured patella injury from in 2015 has fully healed and, according to the Celtics, Irving’s knee has been found to be “completely structurally sound.”

The timetable for Irving's return is roughly the same as that of Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who last week had surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right thumb. 

Irving, who turned 26 on Friday, finishes his first regular season with Boston appearing in 60 games while averaging 24.4 points per game on a career-best 49.1 percent shooting from the field.