We have an opportunity for you to hit us up with your questions in this, our weekly mailbag feature. Have a question regarding player movement, the salary cap or the NBA draft? Drop us a line at [email protected] Here are this week’s inquiries:
There have been rumors of either Jimmy Butler, Jabari Parker or Jae Crowder/Amir Johnson coming to Golden State for Klay Thompson. Would the Warriors be willing to part with one of the league’s best two-way players and an integral part of their team’s success? What has caused these rumors, and which trade seems the most likely? — Matt Trapp
Overactive imaginations? The Warriors aren’t going to break up their superteam so soon after signing Kevin Durant, and with their defensive issues they’re not going to trade their best player on that end of the court. Thompson is only 26 and he is signed for the next three seasons at roughly $16.6MM, $17.8MM and $18.9MM, figures that are very reasonable in the current market. Golden State won’t risk chemistry issues by shipping out Thompson for any of those players, who collectively haven’t been in nearly as many important playoff games as he has.
It was expected that the Warriors’ defense would struggle this year, but now their rebounding has suffered, too. Zaza Pachulia has been serviceable, as has David West, but they have struggled rebounding the ball, and aren’t getting help from everyone else on the floor. I know it’s still early in the season, but this happened in the Spurs game and tonight against the Lakers. Is there any way Warriors can upgrade at center with the little money they can spend? — Nick Elliston
In an ideal world, they would uncover the next Hassan Whiteside, a shot-blocking force who is looking for an NBA contract that will launch him to stardom. Unfortunately for Golden State, there are very few NBA quality centers who aren’t already in the league. Getting rid of Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli was necessary to create enough cap room to sign Durant, and the Warriors would surely do it again. If you’re looking for a realistic long shot, how about Nerlens Noel? He didn’t get a rookie scale extension, so the Sixers wouldn’t mind dealing him before he becomes a restricted free agent. And his salary is only $4,384,490, so in theory he could be had for a combination of Pachulia and Kevon Looney.
For months we had heard about the Celtics trying to make a major trade before the draft. Then we heard about them trying to make a trade post draft. Realistically do you think they will make an in-season trade of any significance? If so what kind of deal? — Dan Mallahan
Nobody has more assets than the Celtics when it comes to young players and draft picks, so it seems like something will get done eventually. They tried to trade for a pick to land Kris Dunn in June, and they’ve been linked to Jahlil Okafor rumors for months, so Danny Ainge has been working the phones. The important thing is that when a star becomes available — the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins, for instance — Boston will be in position to outbid anyone.