Klay Thompson

Perkins believes Warriors need to trade Klay, Draymond amid struggles

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The Warriors continue to scratch their heads as they try to figure out and work through their struggles of the 2023-24 season, and one NBA pundit had a candid suggestion.

On Tuesday morning's "First Take" episode, Stephen A. Smith, Kendrick Perkins and Shannon Sharpe discussed the changes Golden State should make as the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline nears after the Warriors (18-22) dropped to 12th place in the Western Conference following Monday's miserable 116-107 loss to the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies.

Perkins suggested it might be time to break apart the Warriors' Big Three.

"When you look at the body language of Klay Thompson, it's time to make a change. You cannot have your emotions and feelings tied for so long, and that's what we're seeing right now with the Golden State Warriors," Perkins said. "Their emotions are in place. They're saying, 'Man, we're so emotionally attached to Klay Thompson. We're so emotionally attached to Draymond Green.' When the fact of the matter is both of them need to be traded. Both of them. Klay and Dray."

Curry, Thompson and Green have played together in the Bay for over a decade and won four championships in six NBA Finals appearances. They are the league's longest-tenured trio, but all good things must come to an end, and Perkins believes it's time.

Thompson's inconsistent season took another drop Monday as he finished with just nine points, zero rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes, and was a minus-22 in plus/minus rating. Before Monday's loss, though, Thompson flipped the script on his early-season struggles after revealing on Jan. 2 that he had a mind-shifting conversation with Warriors coach Steve Kerr. Since that point through seven games, he averaged 21 points on 45.6-percent shooting from the field and 42.5 percent from 3-point range, with 3.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 31.1 minutes.

But Monday's showing brought a growing concern back to life, as Perkins pointed out the sharpshooter's body language and apparent frustrations.

Meanwhile, Green made his return to the court Monday after missing 16 games -- 12 due to an "indefinite" suspension. The Warriors forward contributed seven points, seven rebounds, four assists and one steal in 24 minutes off the bench, but it wasn't enough as Golden State lost one of its worst games of the season. He has played in just 16 of the Warriors' 40 games this season, and his focus right now is to keep himself on the court for his teammates, but Perkins believes enough is enough.

And while the former NBA champion turned analyst doesn't Thompson or Green's respective NBA careers are over, he anticipates a fresh start could be just what they -- and the Warriors -- need.

"And then you need to have a conversation with Steph and see what he wants to do, Perkins continued. "Do you want to lose for the next two years and let us build some more or do we need to find a destination for you as well? Right now, [Warriors forward] Andrew Wiggins' value is low. So you have to look at trading Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. I don't believe Klay Thompson is done. I just believe he needs a change of scenery.

"You think about one of the best storylines of this weekend, individually, was [Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback] Baker Mayfield. A change of scenery could do wonders for a player and his mentality."

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