On Monday evening, the Golden State Warriors lost to the Houston Rockets, placing their Western Conference playoff series at two games apiece. Now, reports are claiming that one of the Warriors’ players — a player who didn’t have a strong game on Monday — is unhappy.
“I’m told Klay Thompson isn’t happy,” Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN’s First Take on Tuesday morning, per Twitter. “His number hasn’t been called nearly enough. He’s tired of sitting around and getting, quote-unquote, ‘the crumbs’ left behind by other people.”
Thompson scored just 11 points in the losing effort against Houston, per ESPN, netting just one out of six shots from beyond the three-point arc. The loss was the Warriors’ second in a row, and Game 5 is scheduled for Wednesday night, in Oakland.
Smith added that while the Warriors would like to keep “the three” — presumably meaning Thompson, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant — the team expects that Durant will leave this offseason. He also said that others around the league, including Miami team executive Pat Riley and Clippers consultant Jerry West, have told the Warriors that their priority should be to keep the “Splash Brothers” — Curry and Thompson — together.
Smith was clear that he has not talked with Thompson, but had heard this from sources.
Curry and Thompson, part of the team’s current core, have been with the Warriors the longest. Curry was drafted by the Warriors in 2009, and Thompson was added to the team roster in 2011.
Both Durant and Thompson are eligible for free agency this offseason, while Curry and Draymond Green are signed to stay longer. The Warriors are scheduled to move into a new arena in San Francisco next season.
Golden State has won three of the last four NBA championships, including the last two, both of which came with Durant on the team.
A report earlier this week by ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski stated that while the Warriors want to keep Durant, Thompson is the priority. Woj said that if the team offers Thompson a max contract at the start of free agency on July 1, he expects Thompson to accept it — remaining in Golden State. However, if Thompson doesn’t stay on with the Warriors, Wojnarowski said to watch for the Clippers, rather than the Lakers, to make a run at him. Thompson is not thought to have great interest in playing for a non-West Coast team.
Durant has been rumored to have interest in leaving the Warriors — perhaps to sign with the New York Knicks — once this summer’s free agency period gets underway in July.