Shooting guard Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors has been subject to a lot of trade rumors as of late. One of those rumors that is being reported is that the Los Angeles Lakers are in heavy pursuit of the sharp-shooting Thompson. The Lakers are rumored to be attempting to trade their No. 7 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft for Thompson. The Lakers are looking to reshape their team, but it may be a bad idea trading for Thompson.
The L.A. Times was first to report the deal, which may seem like the ideal fit, because Thompson is an L.A. native, and his father, Mychal Thompson, is a former member of the Lakers, but it still doesn’t warrant that the Lakers should trade for Thompson. He plays shooting guard, which is the same position as Kobe Bryant. The latter, who recently claimed he was 100 percent, will have total command over that position for the next couple of seasons.
I know that Bryant is getting up in age, but at this point of his career, I can see him being more productive than Thompson. The Warrior has the potential to be an All-Star, but I believe the expectation of being a Laker will be a bit much for him. Thompson’s numbers improved in the regular season, and in the playoffs his jump shot went missing in action at times. In Golden State, you can get away with that type of play in the playoffs, but the same can’t be said if you are a member of the Lakers.
If the Lakers were to go after Thompson, he would have to play the small forward position. At 6-foot-7, Thompson has the height, but the nightly responsibility of playing Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Chandler Parsons or LeBron James is a very tedious task. Thompson is known for being a scorer, but small forward is arguably the toughest position to play in the NBA, so it will be vital to bring more than scoring to the table.
Thompson is a natural shooting guard, and as of now, that position is being occupied by Bryant. Placing Thompson and Bryant on the floor together wouldn’t work, because at this point in Bryant’s career, he will need to be playing with a player who can defend the best perimeter player, as well as a guy who is more versatile on the offensive side of the ball.
The Lakers should take their time, and keep their draft pick until a better player rolls around. Small forwards and shooting guards are a dime a dozen, so it may make more sense to find a quality point guard or big man to be a part of the roster. Whether it’s drafting Julius Randle or trading for a player such as Rajon Rondo, the Lakers should simply stay away from Thompson.
Thompson will continue to get better as a player, but he is not what the Lakers need to get back to Western Conference supremacy.