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#pounditTuesday, June 18, 2024

Warriors reveal their unusual plan for Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson looking on

May 14, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) stands on the court before the start of the game against the Portland Trail Blazers in game one of the Western conference finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Klay Thompson may be pulling a 1996 Magic Johnson this season.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr revealed on Tuesday that he plans to start Chris Paul, Steph Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Thompson, and Kevon Looney in the team’s first preseason game, per Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Kerr added that Thompson will be guarding the 4 spot in that lineup, noting that they can take advantage of Thompson’s strength defensively.

Assuming that is indicative of what Golden State also plans to do during the regular season, it would be pretty unfamiliar territory for Thompson. He is a modest 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds and (at 33 years old with significant injury history) no longer expends as much energy on the defensive end so that he can save some bullets for the Warriors’ perpetual-motion offense.

Still, Thompson as a de facto 4 may not be as wacky as it seems since power forwards are no longer built like they used to be. In today’s downsized NBA, most 4 men are now closer in size to Thompson and are relied on more so for perimeter play than for post production. This also might be a necessary strategical pivot given the recent injury news that the Warriors got with Draymond Green.

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