Bob Myers

Warriors add depth and save money, send Wallace to Sixers for Thompson

I’m not sure how the Warriors turned David Lee and his $15.5 million salary into Jason Thompson … oh yeah, they called the Sixers, who are always on board with helping good teams get better while somehow getting worse themselves. Golden State sent 33-year-old Gerald Wallace — the player they got from Boston for Lee who’d be out of the league if he wasn’t under contract — to Philly along with cash and “draft considerations” for a player who’s 6′ 11″, four years younger than Wallace, incredibly durable, and reasonably productive.

  • Career averages: 26.5 mpg, 9.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 0.7 bpg, 49.7 FG%, 65.5 FT%
  • 2014-15 averages: 24.6 mpg, 6.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.7 bpg, 47.0 FG%, 62.2 FT%

Based on what I’m seeing from Kings fans and those who cover the team, Thompson is a good guy as well. Just check out what he said to CSN Philly after landing with the Sixers. Sure, they were his hometown team growing up, but to say this many nice things about the worst franchise in the NBA takes skill.

“A situation like in SAC — definitely didn’t have stability,” he said. “With the Sixers, they’re a young, upcoming team. You’re expected to go through your ups and downs with young teams. When you’re at a certain level, you can only go up, so that’s definitely the positive way. With the direction they’re trying to go, it’s very positive.”

The Warriors win again. I guess we should be used to this by now.

Thompson is the all-time leader in games played for the Kings since the franchise moved to Sacramento, ending with 541 (23 more than Peja Stojakovic). He was traded to Philly in a move that cleared cap space for the Kings … so they could make offers and get rebuffed by several free agent targets. Oh, Kings. I’m sure your fans will just love it if Thompson becomes a valuable member of the Warriors’ rotation.

Thompson has missed just one game in the last three seasons, which essentially makes him the anti-Wallace. He’ll make $6,431,250 this season, and his contract states that his salary in 2016-17 ($6,825,000 if he’s on the team after 6/26/16) is partially guaranteed for $2.65 million. The Warriors could always waive him using the stretch provision and save even more money, but this trade by itself already lowers the Warriors’ 2015-16 tax burden simply due to the differences in salary between Thompson and Wallace. They can afford to keep Thompson.

What this means for Golden State

“We’re very happy to add Jason to our roster,” said Warriors General Manager Bob Myers. “He has a proven track record in this league and adds considerably to our team’s depth, which was a big key to our success last season and will be moving forward.”

After adding guard depth over the past couple weeks, with Chris Babb coming from Boston in the Lee trade and Ian Clark recently agreeing to sign with Golden State, Myers and the Warriors attacked another need today.

Thompson won’t play as much as he did in Sacramento, as two players — Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes — will play ahead of him at power forward. But after so many years with a losing team, and facing the prospect of playing for another lottery team in Philly next year, Thompson probably won’t mind being a role player in Golden State. This trade also allows the Warriors to take things even slower with Kevon Looney. It’s not exactly good news for James Michael McAdoo, however.

Myers is right, the team’s depth was improved quite a bit. They could still use another shooter off the bench, but that could be why they added Clark. He has only made 34.4% of his threes (21-of-61) in limited NBA minutes, but he made 340-of-800 in four years at Belmont.

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