OAKLAND – The NBA Trade Rumor Season is cranking up the volume, and it’s loud enough to reach Klay Thompson and the Warriors.
Former Warriors assistant coach Brian Scalabrine – now a Celtics analyst at CSN New England – tossed Thompson’s name into trade talk over the weekend, saying during a SiriusXM interview that he “heard” the All-Star shooting guard “may be available.”
Scalabrine later amended his statement, tweeting “it’s not my rumor or my sources. It’s just something I read over the week that I thought was interesting.”
Two league sources informed CSNBayArea.com on Monday that nothing is in the works, and Warriors coach Steve Kerr laughed off the notion.
“Brian hasn’t called me yet,” Kerr joked after practice. “If Brian wants to call, then I’ll get Bob on the phone and Bob and I can pick his brain and we’ll figure out what we should do.”
Kerr’s response was flippant, to be sure, but the notion of trading Thompson seems far-fetched mostly because the Warriors generally place value on continuity and because he has been an ideal backcourt complement to point guard Stephen Curry.
Yet the Warriors are, as always, aggressively studying ways to improve their roster. A third league source said he could imagine a deal involving Thompson if “the numbers work and it brought a big man to Golden State.”
Scalabrine named names, saying Thompson would go to the Celtics in exchange for forward Jae Crowder, guard Avery Bradley and the right for the Warriors to exchange first-round picks with Boston, which would give up a pick owed by the Nets. In Scalabrine’s scenario, the Warriors would move that pick to the 76ers for center Nerlens Noel.
The rumor may be bolstered by the fact the Warriors defense, so strong in recent years, has been mediocre through the first three weeks of the season. Though they clearly miss center Andrew Bogut, it’s also evident that Thompson has not been meeting his usually excellent defensive standard.
And Bradley is, without question, one of the league’s best backcourt defenders.
Yet Kerr essentially placed Scalabrine’s comments in the category of Internet hoaxes.
“Klay is obviously critical to what we do because of the threat that he poses for people out there,” he said. “When he’s making shots, it really makes it tough on the defense because you know Steph and KD (Kevin Durant) are going to be attacking and scoring.”
There also is this: Warriors executive board member Jerry West is an unabashed fan of Thompson. He was adamantly against a proposed 2014 deal that would have swapped Thompson for Kevin Love.