By Bill Disbrow

OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Last week Warriors guard Steph Curry was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, as expected after his jaw-dropping 2014-2015 campaign. But if you looked farther down the list, Steph’s “splash brother” – Klay Thompson – also snuck on the MVP ballot as the 12 man to earn a vote. You know who wasn’t on there? Kevin Love, the man many said the Warriors needed to trade for, even if it meant parting ways with Klay, Draymond Green, David Lee or other members of the current Warriors rotation.

It may not be fair to look back now at those writers who said the Warriors needed to trade Thompson to compete for the title, but we’re going to do it anyway. Here’s a look at five quotes from basketball analysts who urged the Warriors to split up the splash brothers:

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“Bottom line: you can’t pass up the chance to get a talent like Kevin Love. He and Curry together puts the Warriors on par with the elite talents of the league. They’d no longer be relying on the sum being greater than the parts. That can still be true. But if that doesn’t work, they’d have two parts who can do some damage without needing the other parts.” – Marcus Thompson, Mercury News from “Warriors Are Really Going to Pass Up on Kevin Love-Stephen Curry Tandem?”

“It’s not an exaggeration to say the two-man tandem of Curry and Love would present problems for defenses that are literally unprecedented. You can’t overstate the potential of an offense with that duo as the foundation…And the Dubs need offense. – Gant Huges, Bleacher Report from “Why Golden State Warriors Should Go All-in on Kevin Love Trade.”

“The 24-year-old Thompson is a fine shooting guard, one of the best three-point shooters in the league and a fan favorite, but nowhere close to being one of the NBA’s best perimeter players,” – Thomas Johson, The Washington Post from – “The Warriors Should Trade Klay Thompson For Kevin Love And Here’s Why.”

“Curry needs creative help, which only makes the divide between Thompson and Love all the more glaring…Love is a broader threat and a more natural offensive fit alongside Curry, capable of elevating Golden State to magnificent heights,” Rob Mahoney, SI. from “Warriors wise to value Thompson, but not at the expense of Love.”

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“Thompson is a really good player. Losing him will hurt. But it’s not worth losing out on Love, a legitimate star whose skills mesh well with Curry. They could stay together for years, bridging the gap between this Golden State team and the contender the Warriors could build around them once contracts to Bogut, Iguodala, and others expire,” Zach Lowe, Grantland from Ready for Love or Time to Klay?.

To be fair, all of these writers showed respect for Klay’s game, but thought that Love’s versatile scoring ability would make the Warriors one of the league’s elite teams. Few people saw the emergence of Draymond Green as premiere defender AND regular scorer to compliment to the “Splash Brothers.” That, along with overall team health and depth, made the Warriors the most efficient offensive and defensive team in the league in route to the best record in franchise history.

Thompson actually ended the season as the league’s 10th leading scorer and 5th most efficient three point shooter. Love helped guide the Cavs to the number two seed in the Eastern Conference, but saw his scoring per game average dip nearly ten full points compared to last season as he became a complimentary player to LeBron James.

Love has since suffered a shoulder injury and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Las Vegas bookies think his current team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, will most likely face the Warriors for the NBA crown.

 

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