The 30-day notice to vacate has been sent out, and teams around the NBA have been warned. That’s a notice to vacate wins courtesy of your Golden State Warriors. The other half of the Splash Brothers, Klay Thompson, is on schedule to make his return to the active roster much sooner than anyone thought coming into this season.
Before the season began, there was talk of Thompson’s return potentially being after the new year, but according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Klay could be back on the court before Christmas. The Warriors are 10-1 without Thompson this year. I’ve been a proponent of giving him as much time as needed before getting him on the court. I figured a mid-January return was a good plan, but if he’s ready to go in the next handful of weeks, then Golden State is just going to be that much tougher to deal with heading into the new year.
The best part about this for the Warriors and their fans is that Klay won’t need to come out and feel like he needs to do the most right out of the gate. This team is already 10 players deep on a given night. Against Minnesota on Wednesday, Steve Kerr played nine guys for 14 minutes or longer in that game. Seven of those players clocked at least 19 minutes. We’re talking about the players 8-10 off the bench coming in and giving the Warriors critical minutes when it matters. Guys like Gary Payton II, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Nemanja Bjelica are all providing heart and hustle off the bench and doing the dirty work along with adding points in crucial situations.
When Klay does return, that’s going to be one more mouth to feed, but I’m sure it’s a problem coach Kerr and his staff is happy to figure out. And with the emergence of Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins playing the most consistent ball of his career, these Warriors may be the deepest team in the league once Thompson returns. Oh, and don’t forget they’re still going to get James Wiseman back soon as well. That seems to be flying under the radar, but I’m sure the Warriors are okay with that.
Golden State plays Phoenix on Christmas day, so that could be the first opportunity for Klay on a national television stage since the 2019 NBA Finals. You just know Thompson is itching for the chance to show the world he can still play at a high level. And in this lineup, Thompson is going to get plenty of those opportunities. The Warriors lead the league in assists with 29.6 per game. So, for those who think there won’t be enough shots to go around, just stop it. They figured it out when Kevin Durant was there, and they’ll do it again. They no longer have KD, but they have a deeper bench than they did when Durant was in town.
Strap in tight, ladies and gentlemen; the ‘we gone show y’all’ tour is on the road and coming to an NBA city near you. Get your tickets in advance, have your popcorn and soda pop ready. These Warriors and their fans believe again, and they’re going to make believers out of everybody else around the league. Yes, I’m talking to you J.H. (haha), it’s okay to believe again. Hop on before it’s too late.
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