NBA rumors: Warriors' Klay Thompson changing positions
Coach Kerr spoke with reporters on Tuesday afternoon and revealed the starting lineup for the upcoming Golden State Warriors preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The starting lineup featured Chris Paul, Steph Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson, and Kevon Looney. To many's surprise, Kerr revealed Klay will play at the four. As far as different Warriors' lineups and strategies go, this could be one of many Kerr experiments we'll see this season.
“He’s so physically strong. He’s so used to guarding post-up players after switches. We think Klay can guard as a four this year. We’ll put him in coverage where he has to defend pick-and-roll as a four. We’re planning on doing that and seeing how he does.”
The Athletic's Anthony Slater wrote that, "Because Wiggins is needed to defend the best small forwards in the league, Thompson will upsize and become a de facto power forward, as he did some a season ago." Coach Kerr told reporters during the Warriors' first day of training camp that, “The first order of business in camp is to re-establish our top-10 defense.” Golden State's defense finished 14th in the league last season. Yet, two seasons ago, Golden State finished with the league’s second-best defense.
Several smaller fours have emerged in the league, such as Grant Williams and P.J., so it shouldn't be a surprise that this trend continues. Klay Thompson is 6-foot-6 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan. He was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2019. Overall, the trend of smaller fours in the league is likely to continue, with Klay Thompson being the latest example of that. It'll be interesting to see how this pans out for Golden State. With Thompson's skill and experience, this change in position has the potential to be very effective.