In the past months, rumors about Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson and his impending free agency continue to circulate around the league. Thompson will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019 and is expected to be targeted by teams who are in dire need of additional star power. Last month, Marcus Thompson of The Athletic revealed that the All-Star guard and the Warriors were already having discussions regarding a contract negotiation.
Signing an extension instead of having a new contract as a free agent will give the Warriors a massive discount. According to Dan Feldman of NBC Sports, a maximum extension for Klay Thompson will cost the Warriors $102,083,386 over five years, while signing a maximum contract in free agency will pay him approximately $188 million over five years. An extension will not only help the Warriors save money, but it will also enable them to continue their legacy in the next couple of years.
However, recent statements from Klay Thompson’s father, Mychal, hinted that the Warriors shooting guard will test the free agency waters in the summer of 2019. Though his son still wants to spend the rest of his NBA career in Golden State, the older Thompson said the contract negotiations will continue until the 2019 offseason.
“Klay definitely wants to play his whole career in Golden State and the Bay Area — there’s no question about that,” Mychal said on 95.7 The Game, as transcribed by Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area. “He loves it up there … loves the fans. But let’s just say that negotiations will probably continue in the summer of ’19.”
Klay Thompson said on numerous occasions that he’s willing to take a pay cut for the Warriors. But there is still plenty of time between now and the summer of 2019 to decide, and Thompson could still change his mind. If Thompson demands a maximum contract, the Warriors could still bring him back. The 28-year-old shooting guard has been an integral part of the team’s success, and no one can deny the fact that he deserves every single dollar that the Warriors will pay. However, they should be ready to be buried deep in the luxury tax hell.
If Golden State lowballs Thompson, it will not be a surprise if he entertains offers from other NBA teams. Despite expressing his desire to remain as a Warrior, there are speculations that Thompson wants to play for a team where he could be the “main guy,” unlike in Bay Area where he is playing under the shadow of Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.