According to The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears, the Cleveland Cavaliers called the Golden State Warriors about the possibility of trading Kyrie Irving for Klay Thompson. The Warriors rejected that option, and the Cavaliers turned their eyes to the Boston Celtics, who seem to be the likely destination for Irving once Isaiah Thomas's physical health is no longer an issue. While Irving is a better player than Thompson, the Warriors righteously understood that Klay was far more important to their game.

Warriors naturally said no to Irving

The Warriors made the right decision to keep Klay Thompson, yet again.

Thompson is the other half of the best backcourt in the NBA. One can argue that he is the best shooting guard and one of the best two-way players in the NBA right now. His offensive arsenal is as polished as they get. He can shoot from the three-pointer line and mid-range, he can post up and fade away, and he can finish with efficiency around the rim. Klay can heat up like no other and requires little touches or dribbles to get hot and light a fire under his team.

On the other end of the floor, Thompson further leaves his mark, especially in big games. Klay is able to guard the opposing team's best perimeter player on a nightly basis thanks to his size (6 ft 7 in), quick feet, and intuitive hands.

For example, Irving has had the displeasure of having to face Thompson in the recent Finals, and Klay's defense on Kyrie is a big reason why these Warriors have two championships. Thompson's overall assets are invaluable.

Irving not fit for the Warriors

As good as Kyrie Irving is, he would make the Golden State Warriors a worse team.

Irving is definitely a better offensive player than Thompson. Kyrie can take over a game at any moment, and the Cavs have been comfortable placing the ball in his hands in crunch time. He has proved to be one of the best closers in the game, and that is usually synonymous with being an elite offensive player. Irving is also the NBA's best finisher under the rim.

All these attributes have made Irving the most coveted player in this off-season. It has been reported by ESPN that the Cavaliers received up to 20 offers for Irving. Every team needs Irving, except for one - the Warriors.

Pairing Kyrie Irving with Stephen Curry in the Warriors' backcourt would have been a risky experiment. Offensively they would have been a nightmare for the opponents. But Irving would have had to adapt to the Warriors' style of play and be more open to making the extra pass.

It would have been interesting to see Irving trying to fit in a team full of stars and elite ball-handlers. Curry, Durant, and even Green embrace the moments when they are in control of the ball. Didn't Irving request a trade because he wanted to step out of the shadow of a star, by the name of LeBron James, in order to handle the ball more and be in control of his own team?

That wouldn't have worked well in Golden State.

The more important reason why the Warriors probably declined to take Irving is that his defense cannot be compared to that of Thompson. Klay is able to hide Curry's deficiencies by taking on the challenge of defending the best opposing guard. Irving wouldn't have been able to do so. Having both Curry and Irving on the floor together would have given the opposing guards more courage to attack and score at will. At the end of the day, defense wins NBA championships, and Klay Thompson is a pillar for the Warriors on that end of the floor.