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.”