Bill Simmons fantasizes about LeBron James trade to Warriors for Klay Thompson and Jonathan Kuminga

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Simmons of The Ringer talked about a hypothetical trade that would send Klay Thompson along with Jonathan Kuminga of the Golden State Warriors to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for LeBron James.

“There’s a trade I really love, and it won’t happen,” Simmons said. “But the most fun trade for basketball is if he gets traded to the Warriors, and it’s Kuminga and Klay and maybe some pick swap down the road. And it’s just, ‘We’ll take LeBron for three months, and then he can declare for free agency.’ Klay gets to go back to the Lakers — his dad played there. And the Lakers get Kuminga out of it.”

Kuminga is enjoying a breakout season in his third season in the pros and with the Warriors franchise. Across 45 appearances with Golden State so far in the 2023-24 regular season, the 21-year-old is averaging 15.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game while shooting 53.8 percent from the field and 33.0 percent from deep.

He has scored 20 points or more in four out of his last five games with the Warriors. His best game from a scoring standpoint during the stretch in question came when he dropped 31 points on the Sacramento Kings back on Jan. 25. Kuminga shot 12-of-19 from the field and 2-of-4 from deep while also contributing three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 30 minutes of playing time.

Thompson, on the other hand, is having one of his worst seasons since he joined the NBA ahead of the 2011-12 season. He is averaging 17.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game on 41.5 percent shooting from the floor and 37.4 percent from 3-point range in 44 games played with the Warriors this season.

The 33-year-old’s scoring average is his lowest since the 2012-13 season, when he averaged 16.6 points per game in just his second NBA season.

Thompson’s showing against the Atlanta Hawks on Feb. 3 serves as a good microcosm of his season to this point. He scored 10 points and shot just 4-of-19 from the floor and 2-of-13 from deep in a game the Warriors went on to lose in overtime.

Lakers fans shouldn’t be expecting the team to deal James prior to the trade deadline, which is slated for Feb. 8. But at the same time, a trade package of Thompson and Kuminga would give the Lakers one of the best shooters of all time along with a young and talented prospect who the team could build around for years to come.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.