klay thompson

Before Kevin Love was a Cleveland Cavalier, he was almost a Golden State Warrior.

In the summer of 2014, as the Minnesota Timberwolves were aggressively shopping their star forward, Golden State looked like Minnesota’s most likely trade partner. After all, the Warriors were a good-but-not-great team hoping to take the next step, and they featured a promising young player the Timberwolves reportedly coveted: Klay Thompson.

At the time, Thompson was a career 16-points-a-game scorer whose career-high 3-point percentage was a respectable 41.7 percent. He had neither been an All-Star nor come particularly close.

Love, on the other hand, was a bona fide star, coming off a season in which he averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds a game and was selected to his third All-Star Game. Love was 25 years old (soon to be 26), while Thomspon was 24, so the age difference wasn’t huge either.

Still, the Warriors balked, and the Wolves ended up shipping Love to Cleveland for a package centered around rookie Andrew Wiggins. And just about everyone thought that Golden State was out of its mind.

Several articles from major outlets played Devil’s Advocate, praising Thompson and extolling his value to the Warriors on both ends of the floor, but even then the authors concluded that Golden State should pull the trigger and trade for Love.

We all know what happened next. Thompson blossomed into an All-Star and one of the NBA’s best shooters, helping the Warriors to the 2014-15 NBA title and 73 wins in 2015-16. On Monday, he again reminded us how good he can be, scoring 60 points in 29 minutes in a Warriors win. Love, meanwhile, struggled to find his role in Cleveland and immediately saw his numbers drop across the board (though he, of course, did win a ring last season). He has been at the center of trade rumors for almost a year now. Although Love is having a bounceback season and Thompson has been inconsistent so far, Golden State’s decision to hold onto Thompson instead of acquiring Love looks obvious in retrospect.

Now, it’s certainly possible that if Love had joined Curry with the Warriors and Thompson had gone to a moribund Timberwolves franchise, their fates would have been switched. But as it is, we can laugh heartily at tweets like this one:

Do you understand now, Gary?

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.