Unlike his teammate Kevin Durant, who is expected to be among the many superstars switching teams in the offseason via free agency, Klay Thompson is still seen as a likely candidate to remain with the Golden State Warriors once he becomes a free agent this summer. Despite how recent rumors suggested that the 29-year-old shooting guard might not be too happy with the Warriors after all, Thompson reaffirmed his commitment to the team in a recent interview, while also shedding light on why he wants to remain in Golden State for as long as he could.
As reported on Wednesday by ESPN, the Warriors haven’t been “sweating” over Thompson’s plans in free agency like they have with Durant because of his continued dedication to the team, regardless of the circumstances. Speaking to the outlet, Warriors center Andrew Bogut expounded on this, saying that Thompson hasn’t been the type to publicly complain to the media about wanting to play elsewhere or not being the No. 1 option on offense.
“You’ve never even heard that off the record,” Bogut continued. “Some players say the right thing publicly but have different feelings [in private]. He completely wants to be here and he gets it that this is a very rare situation.”
When asked by ESPN about why he feels that it’s important to continue contributing to the Warriors’ cause and to stay with the team “in the future,” Thompson said that playing in Golden State has been the “only thing” he’s known in the eight years since he joined a struggling Warriors team as the 11th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
“I saw the dark days and now I’ve seen the glory days,” Thompson said.
“And it’s cool to see the process. You appreciate the work it takes to get there. It’s simple. I just appreciate how long it took to get to the mountaintop, the work it did, and just seeing how — empower people in the community and really build this fan base to something special.”
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, meanwhile, expressed that the general feeling in the team’s locker room is that everyone wants Thompson to re-sign with the team in the summer.
“I think the feeling is just, Klay wants to be here, we want Klay,” Kerr continued.
Interestingly, ESPN‘s report on Klay Thompson came shortly after one of its better-known commentators, Stephen A. Smith, said on First Take that the Warriors star might be feeling discontented with his role on the team. As quoted by NBC Sports Bay Area, Smith cited a few unnamed sources who supposedly told him that Thompson “isn’t happy” being the third offensive option behind Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry and is tired of settling for the “crumbs left behind by other people.” Smith, however, stressed that he has not directly spoken to Thompson and that his remarks do not represent his personal opinion on the matter.