Warriors fans are tripping for this one.
On Tuesday morning -- a couple hours after Golden State coach Steve Kerr told NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock that he believes it's "unlikely" we'll see Klay Thompson in a game this season -- KNBR's Mark Willard posted the following poll question on Twitter:
Warriors fans, with Steve Kerr saying Klay is unlikely to play this year, which do you think is a better outcome?#Warriors— Mark Willard (@Mark_T_Willard) October 22, 2019
Sure, this is a pretty small sample size of 115 votes, but it represents a certain pocket of the fan base.
"That's crazy," Klay's father, Mychal, told Willard on Wednesday night when asked about the results. "People forget where Draymond Green was drafted. Second round. You always play to make the playoffs, even if it means a first-round exit.
"And you trust that your scouting department can go out there and find a Tony Parker, find a Terry Porter, find a Gilbert Arenas. There's all kind of talented players out there that you can find.
"They don't have to be a top-five pick. The Warriors have a good scouting staff. Make the playoffs and then expect Bob Myers and his scouting staff to draft a good player somewhere in the 20s."
First and foremost, yours truly completely agrees with Mychal that making the playoffs is the preferred route. And if the Warriors do punch their postseason ticket for the eighth straight year, Klay could be ready at that point. He'd be 10 months removed from tearing his left ACL.
Besides, ending up in the draft lottery would mean a lot of losses and frustrating nights this season. Do you really want to go through that?
Now, to Mychal's point about selecting a good player in the 20s -- don't forget that the Warriors traded their 2020 first-round pick to Brooklyn in the Kevin Durant-D'Angelo Russell sign-and-trade.
But keep in mind that the selection is top 20 protected. So the perfect outcome would be the Warriors making the playoffs and the pick landing in the 15-to-20 range. How can this happen?
Well, if the Warriors end up with the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, they simply need three teams in the Eastern Conference to finish with a better record. The East is not very good outside of the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, but it's unlikely for the No. 8 seed in the West to finish with more wins than the No. 3 seed in the East (although this did happen in 2014, as the Toronto Raptors went 48-34 and the Dallas Mavericks went 49-33).
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And if that actually ends up happening, then so be it.
The Warriors won't face "hard cap" restrictions next season and will improve the roster through free agency.
Let's put a bookmark in this conversation and revisit in mid-April.
Enjoy the season opener tonight!