Klay Thompson Addresses James Harden Trade Rumors

Klay Thompson said he had no idea that Bill Simmons said the Warriors passed up a chance to trade him for James Harden. He said he’s completely oblivious to no shortage of fans who are lamenting the Warriors’ hesitance to pull the trigger.

The last few meetings, Thompson has played like he knows he and Harden were linked in the trade rumor mill. But he said the first he heard of it was when he was asked about it after the Warriors’ 108-78 win at Houston on Sunday.

THOMPSON: “I had no idea. Even if I did, (Simmons)  can say what he wants. All I know is we’ve got a better record than them at this point. I seem to play well against him. So, yeah, it don’t effect me. All I can control is what I do out there.”

For whether or not the Warriors did say no to a Harden-for-Thompson trade, my colleague Tim Kawakami broke that down precisely (spoiler alert: no the Warriors didn’t). But that is neither here nor there. The fact is Harden was traded. He’s the next great shooting guard in this league, expected to take the torch from the likes of Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, and the standard bearer by which Thompson will be judged in the years to come.

But Thompson said that stuff doesn’t matter to him. He said he doesn’t get up for Harden anymore than anyone else.

THOMPSON: “I’ve got the same drive, no matter if I heard that stuff or if I didn’t, to be the best player I can be.”

In the last two games against Houston, both at Oracle, Thompson averaged 22 points on 43.9 percent shooting. In the same two games, Harden averaged 23.5 points on 25.6 percent shooting with 4.0 turnovers.

Then, Sunday at Houston, Thompson had arguably his most impactful 26 points of the season, knocking down 6 of 9 from 3-point range. And he limited Harden to 21 points on 6 of 16 shooting with 3 turnovers.

Harden came into the game averaging 26.4 points on 45.1 percent shooting.

JACKSON: “Klay Thompson was absolutely outstanding. Not just offensively but, more important, defensively. He defended one of the best in the business and made him work for everything.”


Marcus Thompson

  • isn’t it always awkward for these types of rumors to be let out? they dont really serve a purpose as its an issue long passed.

    anyhow, klay has a lot of development, but the warriors don’t need him to be james harden. they need him to his jumpers and play some d. would be nice if he started attacking the hoop a little too…

    not a fan of harden myself. more of a one on one player. i assume warrior fans like myself hate the corey maggette method of scoring that harden has going on…

  • rio kid

    Yes they do need him to be Harden like but not like Harden. You need to have great players to get to the championship. Klay needs to have a bigger impact on the game Klay can shoot, shoot free throws and he can defend so all he needs to do now is work on attacking the rack. Watching the Miami vs Boston Game tonight I marvelled at how Wade rebounds man that is impressive and Klay needs to rebound as well.

    I like the rumour mills it challenges these guys. I wonder why the deal fell through.

  • Dubber

    its a toss up and a tough call. Thompson is cheaper right now.

  • earl monroe

    Personally I like the edge in Klay Thompson as he spoke, talking about having a better record than the Rockets and saying he seems to play well against Harden. Players need to have a bit of attitude, otherwise you get chopped up in the NBA

  • earl monroe

    The deal fell thru because the Warriors did not have a first round pick and probably did not want to move someone to get the pick the thunder wanted, the thunder has done very well in the draft, They had Jeff Green, Eric Maynor, traded both those guys away and still have a good nucleus.

  • fotd

    If Klay can develop into more of a Harden-like slasher and finish at the rim, find a little more consistency with his shot, and mature out of the bone-headed mistakes, NO ONE will be thinking twice about this a year from now. I believe he is moving in that direction. Given the salary difference, I think the decision to go with Klay and see what happens is the right one.

  • Ron

    Who cares about past rumors that may not even be true.

  • Marc

    FACTS: Even TK acknowledges this, Presti inquired about a trade of Thompson for Harden.

    The Warriors tried to dump one of the worst contracts in the entire NBA on OKC and ultimately screwed up a potential deal of an average player for an all-star because of the filler.

    You can draw your own conclusions, but the Warriors messed up and now they are probably going to miss the playoffs next season (and beyond) because of that mistake.

  • Stan

    Thats an old story..what makes it big now? TK says the Warriors “couldnt” do it. C’mon,lets use common sense huh? IF the Warriors knew Harden was the real deal,they would have moved anybody to get him. Obviously it would have been a great trade for the Warriors. They “couldnt do it” because they didnt want to. Thats a fact. IF Lebron came up..according to TK “we cant do it” is laughable.
    And why I need to be honest with the kids here…

  • Stan

    Thats an old story..what makes it big now? TK says the Warriors “couldnt” do it. C’mon,lets use common sense huh? IF the Warriors knew Harden was the real deal,they would have moved anybody to get him. Obviously it would have been a great trade for the Warriors. They “couldnt do it” because they didnt want to. Thats a fact. IF Lebron came up..according to TK “we cant do it” is laughable.
    And why I need to be honest with the kids here…Only I can be unbiased. Mostly!

  • Ewok

    If we are talking about the present. Harden should be the Man. If we are putting premium to the future, Thompson is definitely the Man, Hands down.

    I have my disappointments and frustrations with Thompson. Not because he lacked talent… He is a gem of a talent.. but because i am expecting so much from him but with him being so young at this stage of his career.. He is still learning while Harden has definitely arrived…

    But with Thompson playing for the Thunders, Oklahoma is a far more difficult team to beat because Thompson with the outstanding game that he has shown so far; has a lot of promise to give, a lot of game dimension and the possiblities are endless whether we liken him to Pippen, Sprewell, Allen. Harden on the other hand is a veteran who is so good in what he do, He is an All Star! But somehow, i feel that we we see in him, is what we get and that’s all.

    Thompson is the Man i will keep for years and years to come.

  • Ewok

    It’s not that the Warriors can’t pull the Trigger, but Harden the veteran, is definitely more expensive than Thompson, the sophomore.. and keeping Thompson gives the Warriors to form a core group that played together for long lenghts of time… Thompson definitely is the smarter choice.

  • Stan

    If Thompson was the better choice..it wouldn’t be a story. That tells you something.

    I will say the Big Eucalyptus has really flashed stuff we haven’t seen in a Warrior center since the early 90’s. He blocked shots..he blocked the other centers shots.
    I agree with Bucher..once the Big Euc. trys to master the sky hook..he’s going to be a force in the NBA. Not bad since last month when he looked like it was going to end soon.

  • Adam

    Are you all high? I’m a lifelong warriors fan, but hello????
    harden took a team expected to dwell on the bottom and get a few wins that trickle their way down. harden makes his entire team better. Clearly this is fact as the Rockets are right there with the warriors on pace to make the playoffs, and everyone gave the rockets less chance than the dubs to make it this year. Harden took a team of all youngsters, all 2nd and third year players, other than Carlos delfino from the bench, and has gone from nothing to relevant in just one season with a harden. That didn’t happen with Thompson.
    He is much more than a polished veteran. He does something you can’t teach. He attacks. He likes contact. Thompson is the exact opposite.
    Thompson can’t dribble and distribute, harden can. And harden rebounds. And plays better defense. Comparing the two and thinking you have a better talent with Klay on your team is delusional, at best.

  • Dirk Suave

    Honestly by the time Kobe and Wade hang em up KT will be right next to Harden. In level of importance to his team and ability on the court. KT is an elite shooter. Learn to get to te rack, which he said himself he worked on last summer, and add a few rebounds. Bam, one if the best 2’s in the game. Harden has had more time on a much better team in OKC that has translated pretty good in Houston. But KT is not far off his level right now only two years in. Warriors could pull and OKC in two more seasons and trade KT before maxing him out. Hope we are able to sign him to a curry like deal.

  • gw

    Marc, you’re delusional if you think the Warriors ‘probably won’t make the playoffs next season and beyond’. The Warriors are making it next year, and with a healthy Bogut and Rush plus ever improving youngsters and more experienced coach (not to mention cap room on the horizon) look to be well set to be a top echelon team for some time to come.
    As for Klay vs Harden, it’s apples and oranges. Their games are very different but for what they do both are very good. The clear difference right now is contracts–we would not have been able to sign J. Jack or Landry had we made this trade, so at the very least it’s Jack, Landry, another player (to get the pick for the trade), and Klay for Harden. There’s no doubt Harden is very good, but he’s expensive whereas Klay’s cost is extremely reasonable for a guy who does several things very, very well and has great room for growth. I go for Klay with all this in mind.