Despite the improvements made by other NBA teams, the Golden State Warriors remain as the heavy favorite to take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2018-19 NBA season. After winning back-to-back NBA championship titles, the Warriors not only retained their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green, but they also managed to upgrade their roster with the acquisition of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in the free agency.
If all their starters remain healthy throughout the season, it will definitely be hard to see an NBA team beating the Warriors in a best-of-seven series. However, when the season is over, the Warriors will need to make a tough decision regarding their core players, as DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson are all set to become unrestricted free agents.
As of now, Cousins and Durant want to focus on improving their performance in the 2018-19 NBA season before talking about their impending free agency, but it seems like Klay Thompson has already made up his mind. In an Instagram post, ESPN’s Dave Pasch revealed that the 29-year-old shooting guard expressed his desire to remain a Warrior for life.
“Klay Thompson told us before the game, unsolicited, that he wants to finish his career as a Warrior.”
Klay Thompson appears unaffected with free-agency speculation, but what about Kevin Durant? https://t.co/VyyvOCZkQ5— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 3, 2019
This is not the first time Klay Thompson proved his loyalty to the Warriors. Whenever he has been asked about his impending free agency, Thompson always said that he has no plan of leaving the team. However, in the past months, there are speculations that Thompson’s decision to stay in the Golden State depends on the contract the Warriors are willing to offer next summer.
Giving Klay Thompson a max contract will undeniably bury the Warriors deep in luxury tax hell. However, if the Warriors offer him less than the max, there is a strong possibility that Thompson will consider entertaining offers from other NBA teams. Thompson may not be on the level of Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant, but he’s the perfect target for teams who are eyeing to dethrone the Warriors, especially with his ability to excel in an off-ball capacity.
Luckily for Warriors fans, team owner Joe Lacob already said earlier this month that they are willing to spend a huge amount of money as long as it could help them win multiple NBA championship titles.
“I think we’ll continue to have a good team, if not a great team, and try to hopefully be a title-contending team for as long as we can,” Lacob told Tim Kawakami of the Athletic. “We’ll be aggressive. Nobody’s going to outspend us. Nobody’s going to outwork us.”