Instead of testing free agency this summer, Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson is expected to re-sign with the team. First reported by Ethan Strauss of The Athletic, there is wide belief both “inside and outside” the Warriors organization that Thompson isn’t going anywhere. The report comes a day after Thompson led the Warriors to a 122-95 win over Knicks, scoring 43 points.
Thompson will be part of a star-studded free agent class that includes Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler and Kemba Walker. Being the incredible player that he is, Thompson will draw interest from several teams, most notably the Los Angeles Lakers. Thompson, a pure scorer, is seen as a complementary fit to play alongside LeBron James.
Despite the hopes of Lakers fans, it sounds like Thompson is very comfortable where he is. While nothing is guaranteed, Thompson is expected to remain with the Warriors. Now in his eighth season, he and the team are chasing a third straight NBA title.
Beyond the latest report, Thompson told Shams Charania of The Athletic in October that he could not see himself playing with another team.
“It would be hard for me to leave just because I’ve put so much blood, sweat and tears in this building and with this franchise,” Thompson said. “I’ve had my ups and downs but I couldn’t imagine myself being somewhere else.”
Retaining the Big Three
Re-signing Thompson is key for the Warriors to continue their dynasty. Thompson is worth every penny of the max contract he will likely get, averaging 45 percent from the field and 42 percent from 3-point on his career. Last season, he shot career highs in both categories.
Signing not only Thompson, but picking up the player option on Kevin Durant’s contract is very important for the Warriors. These two, paired with Steph Curry, give the team their offensive explosiveness. When one is having a poor night shooting, they have two other perennial all-stars to pick up the slack.
Re-signing Thompson and Durant is going to take a lot of money, more money than there is to go around for Draymond Green, and even potentially DeMarcus Cousins. While Green does a lot for the Warriors, especially on the defensive end, he is expendable in this situation. A roster centered around Durant, Thompson, and Curry is nearly a lock for the finals every year. Spending the money to keep them together is crucial. Supporting players will fall into place either way, and likely be enough to keep Golden State cruising past the competition.