Warriors fans are rightfully clamoring to acquire Giannis Antetokounmpo, but doing so might require some serious sacrifice.
Major questions still remain on how this scenario can even come to fruition. Will the Greek Freak become available if he does not sign the super max contract extension he will obviously be offered by the Milwaukee Bucks? How many teams would Giannis even consider signing with after a trade? What would the Warriors have to do to fit his enormous salary into their loaded cap equation?
Considering the salary cap situation, and the reality that the Warriors would have to put together a monster trade package to offer Milwaukee should Giannis hit the trade market, one question stands out above the rest for Dub Nation: Should the Warriors offer Klay Thompson in a deal to acquire the Bucks superstar?
According the NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh, the answer is an obvious yes.
"Back in 2014, I was saying they should trade Klay for Kevin Love," Haberstroh told NBC Sports Bay Area. "I thought they should have made that deal. I was dead wrong about that. Giannis Antetokounmpo is way better than Kevin Love back then. If Klay Thompson is the base of a deal to get Giannis Antetokounmpo, who could be the MVP for the next five seasons in the NBA, yes, you make that deal."
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Thompson hasn't played in a game since surgery on July 2, 2019 to repair a torn left ACL, but with the extra-long layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic, he might end up having an especially long recovery time to get his body back to full strength.
The five-time All-Star is not only one of the best shooters in the history of the game, and arguably the best two-way shooting guard in the NBA, he is also one of the most loved and cherished Warriors in franchise history. So in that case, why would the Warriors consider including him in a trade package?
"Klay Thompson is a really really great player, but he is not potentially the GOAT in the NBA," Haberstroh said. "When you look at Giannis Antetokounmpo and what he is doing at this age when he hasn't really figured out a jump shot yet, we are talking an all-time great player. So yes, if we are talking Klay Thompson with Andrew Wiggins in a package with the No. 1 pick, or whatever the top pick would be for the Warriors this year, I think that package you'd put on the table for Giannis Antetokounmpo because he is that good, he is that transformative and you put him with Steph Curry ... It has vibes of 2016 and Kevin Durant coming to the Warriors then."
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On paper, probably all 30 NBA general managers would agree a package of Thompson, Wiggins and a top pick would be worth sending away to acquire the Greek Freak. But Klay does represent something more than just what is on paper. He is a major cog in one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history and a player that helped turn the franchise from the laughing stock of the league to winning three titles in five years.
At the end of the day, the NBA is a business. However for general manager Bob Myers and the front office, this business decision would be very tough to swallow, even if it were the practical move.
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