“Trade Klay Thompson”| Kendrick Perkins Wants Warriors To Stop The Bleeding, The Splash Brother “Needs A Change Of Scenery”

What’s really good with Klay Thompson? The Golden State Warriors guard has had a challenging season, to say the least. He’s averaging less than 20 points per game (17.1) for the first time since the 2013-14 season. His shooting percentages are down and he’s averaging 10.7 ppg on 4-of-26 shooting from three-point range in the last three games.

He isn’t horrible by any means, as NBA Insider Brian Windhorst pointed out on Tuesday’s “First Take” show, but it’s clear he can’t provide the same defensive intensity or offensive versatility that made the 13-year veteran a shoo-in future Hall of Famer prior to ripping his Achilles, his second major injury. 

ESPN host Kendrick Perkins said the Golden State Warriors need to trade Klay Thompson while he still has gas left in the tank. (Photo: Getty Images)

Is Klay Thompson Washed Up?

The numbers are respectable, but not acceptable for a guy who was considered one of the top 5 shooters of all-time during his magical run as Stephen Curry’s underrated Splash Brother. 

Stephen A. Smith went as far as to call Thompson “washed up” in November 2023, when the Warriors were struggling to find the groove that made them NBA champions for the fourth time in Klay’s career just a year earlier.  

“I do think that we’ve reached the point in time where somebody has to put Klay Thompson on notice,” said Smith. “My brother, you look like you have slipped tremendously. You said coming into this season that this would be the most important offseason and the most important preseason of your career.” 

“If Klay Thompson isn’t shooting the ball at an elite level, what use is there for him any longer?”

Klay was averaging a career-low 14.4 points at the time. 

Klay Thompson Gets No Sympathy

Big Perk, Smith’s partner in calling for players and coaches to be fired and traded, felt Klay’s pain but doesn’t have much tolerance for this ongoing drama with Klay, who complained to the media after he didn’t play in the final seven minutes of a 109-98 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night. 

It was the second time Thompson was benched down the stretch in his past three games. Steve Kerr is sending strong signals to Thompson in regard to the role Kerr thinks he is capable of playing on a championship team.

With Golden State sitting outside of the playoffs, 12th in the Western Conference at 22-25, we’ve seen an infusion of younger players such as Jonthan Kuminga getting more minutes and providing a variety of skills that enhance Golden State’s chance of winning with Curry carrying such a huge load offensively. 

Klay told reporters it’s been “very hard” dealing with watching some of the most important moments of the game from the sidelines. 

His teammate Draymond Green didn’t have much sympathy for Clay either. As reporters stood around his locker, Green interjected: 

“I got benched in Game 5 of the Final, who the (expletive) cares.”

Klay didn’t seem to like Green’s interference, but his posture has been a bit self-centered lately. 

We also understand where Green is coming from because Dub Nation as a collective loves Thompson, but all agree that it’s time for him to put up or shut up. Regain his NBA All-Star-level play or settle into another role and don’t expect to get paid for past service time in the next contract. 

Kendrick Perkins Says Klay Thompson Needs Change Of Scenery: He’s Not Washed Up 

“I feel so bad for Klay Thompson,” Perkins said on “First Take.” “People want to say he’s washed and he’s done and doesn’t have anything in the tank, but I honestly don’t believe that. For the life of me I don’t understand why the Warriors won’t stop the bleeding. Trade Klay Thompson.”

Perk went on to say that he thinks Klay’s mind is not focused and the 19.6 points per game career scorer hasn’t been on the same page as the organization since the offseason, when they tried to negotiate a contract extension and he turned it down.  

After seeing Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole get contracts valued at over $100 million each, Perk suggests Thompson feels a way and he’s disconnected psychologically, which doesn’t allow him to perform at his best. 

People constantly saying you’re not the same player anymore can’t help. When lacking confidence, positive reinforcement is important. At the same, time, as Draymond showed us, Klay’s not going to be coddled. He’s been through the wars. He understands the culture.

If that is the case, then Klay’s ego and the injuries and obvious decline in play are all one toxic mix resulting in him giving off vibes that aren’t favorable to his perception as a leader and elite player on that Dynasty team, desperately trying to find a recipe for one last run with Steph Curry still performing at an MVP level.

Klay is turning 34 years old on Feb. 8 and has only known one franchise in his career. With the playoff mileage that he has and the mental baggage that seems to be holding him back, maybe he needs to find a contending team that needs a veteran shooter who can still knock down a big shot late in the game and get the appreciation he is seeking.

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