The Golden State Warriors are currently focused on winning their third consecutive NBA championship title but when the 2018-19 NBA season is over, they will be needing to make a tough decision regarding some of their core players. Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant are set to become unrestricted free agents next July. Between the two Warriors superstars, Durant is highly expected to leave and join the New York Knicks.
In an appearance on Get Up!(transcribed by Bleacher Report), Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN revealed that the Warriors are “bracing for possibly seismic change within the organization.” However, it’s not only Durant that the Warriors should be worried about in the 2019 NBA free agency period. Thompson may have said in numerous occasions that he intends to finish his NBA career in Golden State, but his free agency decision reportedly depends on the contract the Warriors are planning to offer next summer.
If the Warriors aren’t willing to give him a five-year, $190 million max contract, Klay Thompson is expected to entertain offers from other NBA teams in the 2019 NBA offseason. When it comes to NBA teams who could steal Thompson from the Warriors, Wojnarowski believes that the Los Angeles Clippers have a higher chance of acquiring the All-Star shooting guard than the Los Angeles Lakers.
“If they come with a five-year, $190 million max deal for Klay Thompson, that’s done on July 1—he’s going into the new building with Steph Curry,” Wojnarowski said. “If they try to do anything less than that, you can expect Klay Thompson to be out in free agency. Watch not for the Lakers then, but the Clippers.”
Thompson is undeniably one of the major reasons behind the Warriors’ success in the past years. His ability to excel in an off-ball capacity makes him the perfect fit to the Warriors’ superteam that has ball-dominant players like Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. However, despite all the things he has done for the franchise, it remains a huge question mark if they see him as a max player or not.
If Klay Thompson and the Warriors won’t come to a mutual agreement in free agency, NBA teams like the Clippers could take advantage of the situation and try to add him to their roster. With their need of a legitimate NBA superstar, the Clippers likely won’t think twice before giving Thompson a max contract. After inking Thompson to a long-term deal, the Clippers will still have enough money left to chase the likes of Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and Kemba Walker in the 2019 NBA free agency period.