Warriors' Klay Thompson

Getty Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors shoots the ball.

The Golden State Warriors and Klay Thompson could be parting ways this summer after 13 years together, in which case the Dubs will have to find a way to replace one of the best shooters in NBA history.

Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report on Thursday, June 6, suggested that Indiana Pacers forward Doug McDermott is a “sleeper” free agent option for the Warriors should Thompson decide to leave the Bay Area in the coming months.

The Warriors built a not insignificant portion of their dynasty around the best shooting backcourt in NBA history. But if splash siblings Thompson and Stephen Curry aren’t splashing together anymore, there will be a massive shooting void in this offense.

Enter Doug McDermott.

The 32-year-old is more of your classic sharpshooting specialist, but his three-point stroke alone could get him noticed by the Dubs’ decision-makers. He has spent 10 seasons in the Association, and only three of them featured a three-point conversion rate south of 40 percent.

He is almost guaranteed to deliver elite accuracy — he has cleared 40 percent from deep in six of the past seven campaigns — and leverages his shooting threat to sometimes slip behind defenses on timely basket cuts. This movement-based offense should be a perfect fit with what he brings.

McDermott Would Help Ease Burden on Young Warriors in Thompson’s Absence

Doug McDermott, PacersDoug McDermott, Pacers

GettyDoug McDermott of the Indiana Pacers shoots during an Eastern Conference Finals game against the Boston Celtics in 2024.

Even during what most would consider a down year for Thompson in 2023-24, he still averaged 17.9 points and connected on 38.7% of his 3-point attempts across 9 tries per game.

The Warriors did pull Thompson from the starting lineup in favor of rookie Brandin Podziemski at one point during the year, who shot a solid 38.5% from deep on 3.2 attempts in his first professional season. But asking a second-year player to fill Thompson’s shoes all on his own might be asking too much.

Even though McDermott doesn’t play in the backcourt, he routinely spends his time shooting from between 22-24 feet away from the basket — if not further. He could help replicate the spacing and 3-point production the Warriors would lose without Thompson, taking some of the burden of recreating Thompson’s presence on the floor out from under Podziemski’s purview.

McDermott Wouldn’t Replace Thompson in Warriors’ Starting Lineup

Doug McDermottDoug McDermott

GettyDoug McDermott, formerly of the San Antonio Spurs, will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2024.

McDermott has never been a regular starter across his NBA career, starting just 94 of 655 career games. He has averaged 20.2 minutes per night over stints with the several teams, though his most recent stops have been with the Pacers and the San Antonio Spurs.

He is a career 41% 3-point shooter on 3.5 attempts per game and would no doubt be a rotational option, providing offense off the bench, were he to land in Golden State.

McDermott will hit unrestricted free agency this summer after playing out the final season of a three-year, $41.25 million contract. For his career, McDermott has averaged 8.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1 assist per game.

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