Klay Thompson appears headed for free agency, reportedly no movement on extension with Warriors

“We need Klay back,” expressed Steve Kerr after the Warriors’ elimination. “I speak for everyone in the organization when I say that. We want him back desperately. However, we understand that there are contractual matters that need to be addressed with Klay’s representatives.”

Unfortunately, it seems like Kerr’s wish may not come true. As the NBA offseason approaches in June, the Warriors and Klay Thompson have not made progress towards an extension. According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Thompson is now leaning towards entering free agency.

While the Warriors still have a strong desire to keep Thompson on their roster, they have not been actively pursuing negotiations for an extension. This has led the 34-year-old Thompson to consider exploring other options in free agency, a new experience for him in his career.
Thompson is expected to attract interest from multiple teams in free agency, but he is not solely focused on chasing the highest salary. His priority is to join a team that has a strong chance of winning. While the Orlando Magic have been frequently mentioned as a potential destination, other teams with cap space and a desire for veteran depth, such as the Philadelphia 76ers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, could also be in contention.

Before extending or re-signing Thompson, the Golden State Warriors have some roster issues they want to address. They are in need of a second shot creator to alleviate the pressure on Stephen Curry, a role that Thompson used to excel in at an All-NBA level. However, Thompson’s skills have diminished in this aspect. Although he still provides value with his scoring ability (averaging 17.9 points per game and shooting 38.7% from 3-point range this season), he has been inconsistent and his shot creation and defense have declined compared to his previous levels. Additionally, with the emergence of rookie Brandin Podziemski and the presence of Moses Moody, the Warriors can manage without Thompson on the court without experiencing a significant setback.
However, it would certainly be unusual to witness the Curry Warriors without Thompson, or witness Thompson donning a different team’s uniform.

Ultimately, the key factor in this situation boils down to finances. The Warriors may prefer a shorter contract for Thompson that aligns with Draymond Green’s four-year, $100 million extension he signed last year. Would Thompson be open to accepting a deal like three years for $65 million? Is there a possibility of a team like Orlando swooping in with a higher offer?

This upcoming summer in the Bay Area is bound to be intriguing, as it may very well involve Thompson’s departure from the team.