The Golden State Warriors will almost certainly want Klay Thompson to take less money from them next summer than he could earn on the open market, and it seems clear that the sharpshooter is very much open to the idea of a hometown discount.
Thompson’s father, former NBA star Mychal Thompson, spoke with Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday about his son’s impending free agency. The elder Thompson said he has complete confidence that Klay will remain with the Warriors for years to come.
“Oh yeah, you can mark it down,” Mychal Thompson said. “Klay’s going to retire in the Warriors’ uniform. He’s going to play at Chase Center (the Warriors’ new arena, opening in 2019), and he’s not going to be at Chase Center as a visiting player, he’s going to be a Warrior for the next seven or eight years.”
Even with the Warriors continuously adding talent and less shots to go around, Thompson has consistently averaged 20 or more points per game for the past four seasons. He’s one of the best shooting guards in the game and is an obvious max contract player, and Golden State can dip further into the luxury tax to sign him. Rather than Klay taking a pay cut, Mychal hinted that he believes the Warriors will be willing to pay the big bucks.
“He’s got such a good thing here,” Mychal said. “The Warriors have such a special thing here. For the next six or seven years they’re going to be championship material, they’re not going to break that up. The Bulls (with Michael Jordan) were broken up too prematurely. (Warriors owners) Joe Lacob and Peter Guber aren’t going to let that happen. Are you kidding? They can afford it. They’re the Warriors, this is the Bay Area, they got a beautiful arena, and money’s no object for this team.”
Kevin Durant has already taken a pay cut to allow the Warriors to keep their core together, and some comments Thompson made in the past make it seem like he could be open to doing the same. There’s obviously some sort of limit to how much luxury tax Golden State wants to pay, so perhaps there will be enough motivation on either side for them to come to a reasonable agreement with Thompson.