Imagine Klay Thompson in a Miami Heat uniform.
Rich Kamla of NBA TV joined Hochman, Crowder, and Krantz to talk about the Miami Heat’s matchup tonight with his hometown Atlanta Hawks but also shared some interesting takes, including trading Thompson to the Heat and how Miami would do if Dwyane Wade was still on the roster.
“I think Hassan Whiteside is awesome,” Kamla said on WQAM. “I love him. If I were the Golden State Warriors I’d be offering Klay Thompson for him. What is he, 17 and 14, leading the league in rebounding? I believe he’s leading the league in shot blocking.
“Like, how many guys in the NBA go 17 and 14 with 2.5 blocks? Uh, let’s see — one. Maybe two if you go Anthony Davis but of course Davis is a monster but he’s a power forward. I’m talking about the center position… If I’m Coach Bud and you offered me Whiteside for Dwight Howard, I’m doing that yesterday.”
Whiteside is actually averaging 18.1 points, 14.9 boards, and 2.4 blocks but it’s semantics. Kamla also said the Heat would not be a playoff team if Dwyane Wade was still on the roster.
I agree on all counts. Wade worsens them defensively and probably only gives a minor boost on offense considering he still wouldn’t help the team’s perimeter shooting/spacing.
The Whiteside-Thompson swap is a fascinating blockbuster because it balances the Warriors out and improves their interior defense, though they would not be playing nearly as fast. But I don’t think the Warriors are close to even thinking about disrupting the best collection of scoring talent the league has ever seen.
For the Heat, I’d take Thompson in that scenario all day. He’s one of the league’s best two-way wings and you can’t win a title in this league without at least one of those types of players. You can win in 2016 without a star center.
A lineup featuring Dragic, Josh Richardson, Klay Thompson, and Justise Winslow is strong and they could look to add a legitimate big in the offseason. That said, the Warriors would be nuts.
Other players would have to be thrown in to even out the salary swap but would you pull the trigger on that if you were Pat Riley?