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Dubs in-depth: Stephen A. Smith weighs in Warriors’ title chances when Klay Thompson returns

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Plus more Golden State news from around the web.

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It was good to see Klay Thompson having some fun during the Golden State Warriors’ win over the Detroit Pistons. The beloved Dubs’ guard joined the broadcast team and poked fun at teammates while calling out the opposition.

Thompson is missing his second-straight season due to injury. The 30-year-old tore his ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals and missed the 2019-2020 campaign. The anticipation was building for his return this season, but he, unfortunately, suffered an Achilles injury on the day of the 2020 NBA Draft.

The hope is that Klay will be fully healthy and ready to go for the 2021-2022 campaign. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith discussed Thompson’s impending return during Monday’s episode of First Take and was asked if he thinks the Dubs will go over or under 1.5 championships with a full squad (h/t Drew Shiller of NBC Bay Area):

Max Kellerman:” I have enough faith in them to think they’re gonna get back and win another championship. But more than that is asking almost for a dynasty again. I don’t see that happening.”

Smith:” I do. I do. I loved watching Klay give his commentary. He was funny. I have been on the record saying Steph Curry is the greatest shooter in the history of mankind. Klay Thompson is one of the top five shooters in the history of basketball.

“Klay Thompson — if he never played another game — is a Hall of Famer. And when I think about the two of these guys together ... [James] Wiseman is a rookie.

“I got news for you — if Klay Thompson comes back healthy, and Steph Curry is healthy, and Wiseman and Draymond [Green] and them ... I reserve the right to revisit this conversation about whether or not the Warriors are gonna win the chip (championship) next year! I mean immediately! That’s how elite of shooters that they are.”

I have found myself thinking about how good Golden State would have been this season with a healthy Thompson. The Warriors have beaten contending teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers but seem to be one player away from defeating those teams in a playoff series.

Klay is that player. He’s one of the best shooters in league history, averaging 19.5 points and connecting on 41.9% of his 3-point attempts over his eight NBA seasons. If Thompson even remotely resembles the player we saw before his injuries, the league should be on notice next season.

With a core of Thompson, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, James Wiseman and Andrew Wiggins, Golden State would arguably have the best five-man unit in the NBA. General manager Bob Myers could also use the Minnesota Timberwolves’ top-three-protected 2021 draft pick to acquire another veteran in the offseason.

It was great to see Klay back around the team and having fun, but hopefully, next season, we see him back in uniform.

Do you agree with Smith’s thoughts? Do you think the Warriors will go over/under 1.5 championships over the following five seasons with a healthy Klay?


On to some links:

Speaking of missing Thompson, his absence is being felt around the league. Scott Cacciola of The New York Times speaks to several people about not having Thompson back on the court this season.

Would Myers be willing to trade for fourth-year guard Lonzo Ball? ESPN’s Brian Windhorst says the Dubs and Pelicans have had talks surrounding the former No. 2 overall pick. (via Clutch Points)

Golden State made a roster move on Monday. The team announced Jordan Poole has been assigned to the G League. (Warriors.com)