Good to see Klay Thompson out on the court 💪
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) June 22, 2021
A lot has changed for the Warriors since Thompson last suited up for them.
Since their matchup against the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 Finals, Kevin Durant left the team in free agency and they were a lottery team both years.
However, with Thompson back in the lineup, they are once again title contenders.
This is assuming that Thompson will be the same player that he was before the injuries.
While Thompson is not incredibly old by NBA standards, he is not the youngest either.
There was a chance of a slight decline in his play if he stayed healthy over the span of two full seasons.
However, factoring in that two possibly career-altering injuries were added into the mix with him over that two-year span and there is really no telling what level he will be able to play at.
For the sake of this article, we will assume that Thompson will be 100 percent recovered and playing at the exact same level he was in the 2019 Finals.
This means the Warriors will be getting back the second-best three-point shooter of all time along with one of the best perimeter defenders in the entire league.
The Warriors will be getting back their second option and ideally, having Thompson back will elevate the level of play from Draymond Green.
Golden State has a lot of youthful talent on their roster due to their two consecutive seasons in the lottery.
It has been rumored that along with the return of Thompson, the Warriors could be making a blockbuster trade to bring their roster back to its championship form.
Potential Trade Targets
There have been two stars linked to the Warriors through a trade.
The first player is Bradley Beal.
Beal has been linked to the Warriors for well over a year now.
It was rumored that he would be traded to the team around the trade deadline last season in an attempt to fill the hole that Thompson left on the team while he was sidelined.
Beal would provide Golden State with one of the best scorers in the league.
While he would not provide much on the defensive end, he would elevate the Warriors to one of the best offensive teams in the league.
This trade is still a real possibility today.
It is clear through the Russell Westbrook trade that the Wizards are nearing a rebuild.
That is something that will be very hard to complete with Beal on the roster.
The Warriors have a lot of young pieces that they could send to Washington in return for Beal.
This would speed up the rebuild process in Washington and possibly make the Warriors the favorites in the West.
The second target for the Warriors is Brandon Ingram.
News recently broke that Golden State may be looking to move Andrew Wiggins and some other pieces or picks for Ingram.
The Warriors may look into packaging Andrew Wiggins in a deal in exchange for Brandon Ingram. pic.twitter.com/w9R1SbXh4D
— NBA Show – Basketball News (@NBAShowBasketb1) October 3, 2021
While Ingram cannot compete with Beal on the offensive side of the ball, he is still an incredible scorer.
Along with this, he would provide much more on defense than Beal ever could.
Trading for Ingram would be the closest the Warriors could get to having Durant back on the team.