The hits just kept on coming for the Warriors. In their Game 6 loss to the Raptors, Golden State also lost Klay Thompson to a serious knee injury.
Injuries decimated the Warriors throughout their playoff run — DeMarcus Cousins suffered a quad injury that essentially kept him out until the Finals. Kevin Durant suffered a calf strain in the Western Conference Finals and after sitting out roughly three weeks, returned to play 12 minutes in Game 5 of the NBA FInals before suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon. Key bench contributor Kevon Looney also suffered a chest injury that limited him in the Finals and could have ramifications into next season.
All that contributed to the Warriors falling behind the Raptors in the Finals and in Game 6, where they were ultimately eliminated, they lost Klay Thompson as well. Thompson had scored 28 points when he was fouled on a drive late in the third quarter. He initially headed towards the locker room, helped by two teammates, before returning to sink both free throws. However, he then headed back to the locker room and did not return.
According to reports by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Thompson’s injury was a torn ACL. Presumably, we’ll hear more details about the injury and the recovery timeline over the coming days but there’s really no way to spin this as anything but terrible news for the Warriors. While an ACL is not the athleticism draining-injury it might have been a decade or two ago, it may keep Thompson off the court for a significant portion of next season, followed by an extended period of him regaining his peak fitness level and learning to trust the knee again.
Thompson is a free agent this summer, as is the rest of the Warriors’ triage unit — Durant, Cousins and Looney. While Cousins and Durant were assumed to be on their way out, the conventional wisdom was that the Warriors would pay what it took to keep Thompson and continue to leverage his elite shooting and chemistry with Stephen Curry. This injury may not change that plan at all but it certainly inserts more risk into the calculus for the Warriors. Here’s hoping for a full and speedy recovery for Thompson.