The NBA season is finally here, and the league looks a bit different. Some stars have changed teams through free agency, and in a way, have made the league more competitive. While some players changed teams, others remain with their team despite being free agents. One of those players was Klay Thompson.
This summer, Thompson signed a five-year, $190 million deal with the Warriors. Thompson was an unrestricted free agent, which gave him a chance to sign elsewhere without the Warriors matching the offer. However, Thompson re-signed with the team that only drafted him but helped him become a three-time champion.
Thompson re-signed with the Warriors all within the midst of an injury. In Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Thompson suffered a torn left ACL. He underwent surgery the day after he re-signed with the Warriors.
Before the start of the season, there were reports that Thompson could return after the All-Star break. Now, that timetable seems unlikely. According to Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Thompson may not return this season.
“It’s unlikely that he’s going to play this year,” Kerr told NBC Sports Bay Area, “So we have to understand that.”
Kerr also referenced his own ACL injury suffered in college.
“You have to look at it realistically,” the Warriors coach said. “I had an ACL [tear] in college, and I missed a whole season. Generally, an ACL for a basketball player is a full-year recovery, and if it’s a full year for Klay, that puts them out for the season.”
Later on, Kerr clarified that he did not announce Thompson is out for the season, but that is unlikely.
“My comment was very matter of face. I wasn’t announcing anything. He’s doing great with his rehab. It’s still possible he could play,” Kerr said. “But I forgot, with modern media, ‘unlikely’ is going to be on the ticker, OUT FOR THE YEAR and all that stuff. Probably my mistake for opening my mouth.”
Steve Kerr's full comment on Klay Thompson's return timeline: "I wasn't announcing anything. He's doing great with his rehab. It's still possible he could play. But I forgot, with modern media, 'unlikely' is going to be on the ticker, OUT FOR THE YEAR." pic.twitter.com/dqqXJ2bAel
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 22, 2019
Last season, Thompson averaged 21.5 points, 3.8 rebounds (a career-high) and 2.4 assists. Thompson remains a focal point the Warriors’ success as he helped them reached the Finals five straight times. As the Warriors start this season, they’ll have to adjust to Thompson’s absence.
The Warriors are a different team this season. With additions (such as D’Angelo Russell), subtractions (Kevin Durant), and Thompson’s injury, the Warriors have a tough season ahead of them. But if anyone can withstand obstacles, it is the Warriors.
Featured Image courtesy of Tony Dejak/Associated Press