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Tuesday, Wednesday, Klayday, Friday

 

Photo - Christian Petersen (Getty Images)

By Joe Perovich | KFAN Productions Intern

The plot doesn't thicken, it transforms – and with every refresh of the Twitter feed.

Yesterday, your news feed was swallowed whole by the report of the Timberwolves and Warriors deep in trade negotiations.

At 3:14 p.m. today, one of the general managers said a big trade is "unlikely."

I like the honesty. That's what general managers exhibit this time of year, right?

The deal being discussed would have Minnesota sending PF Kevin Love, SG Kevin Martin to Golden State in exchange for SG Klay Thompson, PF David Lee and a future first-round pick (the Warriors do not own a first-round pick in this year's draft).

It's not imminent, but it's the most tangible deal seen as of late.

High-quality shooting guards have become a rarity in today's era of the NBA. Outside of the James Harden and Kobe Bryant (and Kobe's inclusion is shaky at best) what player would you rather have at SG in the Western Conference over Klay Thompson right now?

He's a 6-foot-7-inch sharpshooting 24-year-old who former Warriors head coach Mark Jackson called in March "the best two-way shooting guard in the world."

More endangered than quality shooting guards are two-way players in a role-oriented league. Thompson wasn't nearly the defender at Washington State that he is today. He's taken massive strides as an on-ball defender since the 2011 draft, and at age 24, is assumedly not a finished product.

Thompson even possesses the ability to match up on smaller guards. During the 2013-14 season, Warriors' opponents would target Stephen Curry's defensive liabilities with smaller guards.

No problem. Thompson was shifty enough to switch with Curry and slow an attack plan that, in theory, should have flourished.

The prospect of Klay Thompson earning the maximum amount of money available to a player shouldn't leave you feeling great.

But it's something every person may need to stomach.

Confined to his strengths, Love ranks among the NBA elites. But, it's for that very same reason he has never been held accountable for porous play on the opposite end of the court.

He can rank among the NBA leaders in points, rebounds and PER, but the problem he never cared to address in his own game was the exact problem ailing the team.

Minnesota has ranked in the bottom-third of NBA opponent field goal percentage every year since Kevin Garnett left. Love has been on the Timberwolves since the 2008-09 season, and you better believe that his inability to defend the pick-and-roll and protect the basket is a leg for that streak to stand on.

The blame falls on both the front office and coaching staff(s) as well. Did Love ever play next to a starting-caliber rim protector in six years with Minnesota? Will that same stubbornness be recycled and force once again, but in the form of a David Lee-Nikola Pekovic frontcourt?

It's not like Gorgui Dieng contrasts Lee and Love perfectly, or that Nikola Pekovic could finally give a dormant bench the scorer it desperately needs or anything...

Little steps.

At first glance, acquiring Klay Thompson is a move that would bolster talent out on the wing. That is true, but when the departures (Love and Martin) and additions (Thompson, TBD) smear together, it reveals the Timberwolves are finally acknowledging the need for a reformation project on defense.

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