The Golden State Warriors should only trade Klay Thompson if they still believe in Harrison Barnes. I love watching the Splash Brothers (Curry & Thompson) and I believe Klay will become a better playmaker. Kevin Love is a great player and he would help this team but losing Klay is a big deal. Klay is better than Barnes, but Barnes did have his moments in the postseason during his rookie year.
Harrison Barnes had a shaky second season because he had to adjust to coming off the bench. If the Warriors move Klay that puts Barnes back into the starting lineup. He wasn’t that great as a rookie in the starting lineup, only averaging 9.2 points while shooting 35% from the arc. In the playoffs he averaged 16 points and he looked more aggressive. He had some good moments against the Spurs and the Warriors were constantly going to him when the Spurs put Parker on him. The Warriors hoped that would translate to a breakout sophomore season but Barnes regressed.
Klay is a marksman that has gotten better each year. He hits 41% of his 3 pointers and if he learns to create off the dribble he will be an all-star soon enough. The shooting guard position is weak in this league and I think Klay is a top 5 shooting guard. You don’t get rid of a top 5 player at his position unless you believe someone else can step up and contribute.
I’m not sure on the type of system Steve Kerr will run in Golden State. Maybe he can put Barnes in a position to blossom. He has great size for a wing player. He’s not very skilled but he is explosive. He has to improve his play making ability. The Warriors can spread the floor so teams will be closing out hard on shooters; I trust Iguodala, Curry and Love to make the right plays. I don’t really trust Barnes that much. Klay was guarding the 1, 2, and 3; Barnes should be able to do the same thing for the Warriors. The Warriors could have an interesting small ball lineup with Love, Draymond, Iguodala, Barnes and Curry.
It’s never a bad thing to add more talent especially when that talent is Kevin Love. He could help this team reach the conference finals or even the finals. Klay is a talented player but he’s not as good as Love. If the Warriors trust Barnes to step back into the starting lineup and contribute at a high level then I would make that move without hesitation.