With Durant now in Brooklyn and Steph Curry suffering his own injury that ruined his 2019-20 campaign, many see a hard road to a second act for the Warriors. Not Thompson.
"It just kills me inside when I see these other teams, so many talking heads and some of my peers saying the dynasty is over, they had a great run," Thompson said in a Kaiser Permanente video chronicling his return. "I have so much more to give this game, but patience definitely builds character."
Thompson suffered a torn ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 Finals and has been out all this season while rehabbing. The Warriors were an NBA-worst 15-50 when the league shut down the regular season after Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus March 11. Curry was limited to just five games, leaving Draymond Green to essentially fend for himself with a revolving door of young players that now includes Andrew Wiggins.
Thompson has every reason to believe the Warriors will rank among the NBA's best teams upon his return next season. Curry and Thompson remain perhaps the league's best backcourt, and the front office has freedom to build around its two foundational stars.
Equipped with a pick that will surely land in the top five, a future first acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Wiggins-D'Angelo Russell swap and the contracts of Green and Wiggins, the Warriors are primed to make another move.
It's possible this is a blip as the Warriors retool a la the San Antonio Spurs.