Woj: Klay Thompson, Warriors Targeting Early-Mid January for Return from Injury

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 17, 2021

Injured Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson shoots before the team's NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The Golden State Warriors are set to get even stronger with Klay Thompson reportedly targeting a January return, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The team is hoping for the shooting guard to return at a home game, including either Jan. 9 against the Cleveland Cavaliers or Jan. 18 against the Detroit Pistons following a four-game road trip. A Jan. 3 return is possible but "considered less likely."

Thompson has been recovering after suffering an Achilles tear in November 2020. He also missed the 2019-20 season because of a torn ACL suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals, marking the last time the talented player has been on the court for Golden State.

When healthy, Thompson has proved to be one of the top two-way guards in the NBA. 

The five-time All-Star averaged at least 20 points per game in each season from 2014-15 to 2018-19, helping the Warriors win three NBA titles in five Finals appearances.

As a 41.9 percent three-point shooter over his career, Thompson joined Stephen Curry make one of the best shooting backcourts in NBA history. He also had a reputation as one of the top perimeter defenders in the league.

The 31-year-old could have a slow start as he recovers from his multiple injuries, but getting Thompson back on the floor would be a significant development for Golden State, which already entered Friday tied with the Phoenix Suns for a league-best 23-5 record.

In the meantime, Curry, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole have created an exciting backcourt trio that has been difficult to defend.

The Warriors also rank first in the NBA in defensive efficiency (100.2 points allowed per 100 possessions).

Adding Thompson to this rotation could make Golden State a heavy favorite to bring home a championship.