Four Klay Thompson Replacements Warriors Can Look Into If He Walks

Replacements Golden State should eye if Thompson leaves.
Apr 22, 2024; New York, New York, USA;  Philadelphia 76ers guard Buddy Hield (17) dribbles up court against the New York Knicks during the first half during game two of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 22, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Buddy Hield (17) dribbles up court against the New York Knicks during the first half during game two of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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Klay Thompson could be on his way out of the Bay Area in the next few weeks and the Golden State Warriors may be in the market for a replacement.

The Warriors and their long-time shooting guard are at an impasse in contract negotiations and the franchise may have to make other plans. Unless it makes a drastic move, Golden State won't have a ton of money to work with under the salary cap, so options may be limited.

Mario Hezonja

Hezonja is a former top five pick, after the Orlando Magic selected him at No. 5 during the 2015 NBA draft. He never made a significant impact in the NBA and after playing for the Portland Trail Blazers during the 2019-20 season, he left to return to Europe.

Hezonja has spent the last two seasons with Real Madrid, winning the EuroLeague in 2023 and was runner-up in 2024. During the 2023-24 season, Hezonja shot 43.1% from three-point range, 92.1% from the free throw line and averaged 13.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.

Buddy Hield

This one will be completely dependent on what happens in the free-agent market, but it could be a pretty solid match. Hield is coming off a down season and could reignite his career playing with the Warriors for less money. A short-term deal on the mid-level exception might be just what he needs.

If the Warriors lose Thompson and Chris Paul and make some other maneuvers they could be able to work out a deal for someone like Hield. He's a prolific three-point shooter, and in 32 games with the Philadelphia 76ers down the stretch, he hit 38.9% of his shots on 6.6 attempts per game. He would fit right in playing off of Stephen Curry.

Malik Beasley

Beasley made himself some money this season, as he bet on having a big season by signing a one-year, $2.7 million contract. The 27-year-old wound up starting 77 games of the 79 he played in, averaging 11.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in 29.6 minutes per game. He also hit 41.3% from three-point range on 6.9 attempts per game.

Beasley is another mid-level exception candidate if the Warriors can open enough cap space for him. He'd fit really well in Steve Kerr's system.

De'Anthony Melton

Another unrestricted free agent from the 76ers, Melton is a good shooter who is coming off an injury-marred season. He only played in 33 games during the 2023-24 season but shot 36.0% from deep while averaging 11.1 points in 26.9 minutes per game.

Melton might be seeking more than the Warriors can put together but he'd be an excellent replacement for Thompson if Golden State can get creative with the money.

The Warriors are unlikely to get a perfect Thompson replacement and finances will be tight. But if they get creative they should be able find someone who is a fit for their system.


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Ryan Phillips

RYAN PHILLIPS

Ryan Phillips is a senior writer on the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated. He has worked in digital media since 2009, spending eight years at The Big Lead before joining SI in 2024. Phillips also co-hosts The Assembly Call Podcast about Indiana Hoosiers basketball and previously worked at Bleacher Report. He is a proud San Diego native and a graduate of Indiana University’s journalism program.