NBA Rumors: As Kevin Durant’s Exit From Warriors Grows More Likely, Chances Of Keeping Klay Thompson Rises

Klay Thompson drives against the Lakers.
Ethan Miller / Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors are likely nearing the end of the Curry-Durant-Thompson era, but one major piece of the puzzle could still be staying for the long-term.

Kevin Durant is headed to free agency this off season and is considered very likely to be bolting Golden State for a new home. While his exit appears to be growing more and more likely as the New York Knicks — pegged as his most likely off season destination — clear up cap space and prepare to offer a max contract, the likelihood that Klay Thompson stays in Golden State seems to be on the rise.

As NBC Sports reported, the prevailing rumor around the NBA is that Klay is planning on staying if the Warriors can offer the right contract.

“The buzz from various executives, scouts and media members suggests that Durant is ready to move on,” wrote Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. “Thompson, if offered the max, will stay. If not, he too could exit.”

Thompson’s exit could send the Warriors into rebuilding mode, as all the major pieces around Steph Curry may be gone in one fateful offseason. That could increase the urgency of offering Klay Thompson the contract he is seeking.

That appears to be growing ever more likely. As NBC Sports noted, it is almost a given that the Warriors will offer Klay Thompson a max deal. That would keep intact the Thompson-Steph Curry combination that launched the Warriors into a dynasty and took the team to two titles before Kevin Durant joined and DeMarcus Cousins came on board this season.

Klay Thompson appears to already be shunning other potential suitors. As Warriors Wire reported, it is believed that Thompson won’t even give the Los Angeles Lakers a meeting if he can get a max offer from the Warriors. The Lakers had been another team mentioned both for Thompson and Kevin Durant, as the Warriors’ Western Conference rival looks to make a rapid rebuild around LeBron James, but now it appears that they may be out on both.

While the Lakers are still expected to be active in free agency this off season and will likely take another swing at landing Anthony Davis, the team’s main off season moves may not be at the expense of the Warriors. Should Thompson stay in Golden State as the rumors project, it would likely still keep the Warriors as the team to beat in an increasingly competitive conference.