For the Golden State Warriors, the rich could soon get richer.
According to Shams Charania and Anthony Slater of The Athletic, the Warriors, owners of the NBA’s best record (14-2), are close to welcoming five-time All-Star Klay Thompson back into the fold.
After strong week of scrimmages, Klay Thompson has been cleared to be a full participant in all Warriors practices, trending toward return within week of Christmas, sources tell me and @anthonyVslater.https://t.co/0UsfjrL5Ub— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 21, 2021
The two reported that following Thompson’s productive performances during scrimmages, that he would be officially cleared to be a full participant in Warriors practices. They also noted that Thompson is trending towards his official return being a week before Christmas Day.
By those estimations, Thompson will miss each of the meetings between the Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers; the two play Nov. 26 and Dec. 8, and then don’t meet again until Feb. 24. Nonetheless, it presents a potentially seismic shift to the Western Conference outlook. Golden State has weathered the storm without Thompson, who hadn’t played since the NBA Finals in 2019.
Before his injury, Thompson was in the middle of five consecutive seasons of averaging at least 20.0 points per game. For his career, the three-time NBA championship averages 19.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists on 46-42-85 percentage splits.
Update: Warriors head coach Steve Kerr denied the report that Thompson was close to practice, adding more skepticism behind when the former All-Star could make his long-awaited return.
Steve Kerr said nobody has told him Klay Thompson is fully cleared to practice with the team. "I don't know where that came from."— Mark Haynes (@markhaynesnba) November 21, 2021