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Bad News Everybody, It Looks Like Klay Thompson May Not Be Going Anywhere

Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings

It was always somewhat of a longshot that the Warriors Dynasty was about to come crashing down this summer with guys like Durant and Klay Thompson both becoming free agents. Multiple teams are positioning themselves to be ready to offer one of these elite talents big time money to pry them out of the Bay, but it’s sure looking less and less likely that the band with be breaking up anytime soon. According to Ethan Strauss who covers them for the Athletic, everyone expects him to be back

“While Thompson has indicated an interest in remaining a “Warrior for life,” his return cannot just be taken for granted. Still, the expectation within and outside the Warriors is that Klay isn’t leaving. This is why you don’t hear about any team besides the Lakers gearing up for the Summer of Klay.”

Obviously his father’s history with the Lakers is the reason why that rumor won’t die. That and the well known fact that LeBron is looking to bring in big time talent this summer one way or another. Us fans tried to convince ourselves that Klay would be tired of being the 3rd option on GS and that he was good enough to want his own team. He spoke on that and the quotes aren’t all that encouraging

“I don’t know what having your own team really means,” Thompson said in a 1-on-1 sit down with Shams Charania of the Athletic in October, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “I know what it means to be the leader, the captain, the stat-stuffer and all that. But I don’t think this is Steph’s team, I don’t think this is KD’s team, I don’t think this is Draymond’s team, my team, Andre, Coach Kerr. I think this is our team because, without each one of us, we lose a huge part of this team. I think we all understand that.

“I’ve been to the mountaintop. I know what it feels like to win and win with some of your best friends. And that’s why it would be hard for me to leave just because I’ve put so much blood, sweat and tears in this building and with this franchise. I’ve had my ups and downs but I couldn’t imagine myself being somewhere else.

As a reminder let’s just quickly go over the Warriors cap situation this summer. As of now, here are their committed salaries for next season

Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 2.14.21 PM

You can assume that Durant number will be changing once he opts out. As of now they have $120.7M committed and that doesn’t even include their cap holds of Klay, Boogie, Quin Cook, Jordan Bell, Jerebko, and Looney. All those total to around $45M. Because they are over the cap, even renouncing some of these cap holds will not afford them any additional cap space. Basically, they can only sign outside players using exceptions or league minimum deals. This differs from their ability to keep their own players obviously, and this ownership group has shown the willingness to pay whatever the tax penalties are as long as this team is winning titles and I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention lately but they seem to be doing just that. Now things get tricky in two seasons when Draymond Green is up for a new deal, and given his regression who knows if the Warriors deem him worth paying all these penalties for, but they have some time before they have to worry about that. He is still trying to campaign to be eligible for the supermax which is why he wants DPOY, but I don’t see that happening.

But back to Klay. I think it wouldn’t be out of the question to not only see him back, but maybe back at a slight discount. Kevin Durant did it, and if he truly wants to be a Warrior for life I could see that happening. It’s still going to be something ridiculous like 30M+ a year, and if that little relief helps them keep everyone together why wouldn’t he? This same line of thinking is why I feel like Durant isn’t going anywhere either. These guys realize they have something special and can dominate this league for years to come, and maybe the grass isn’t greener where it’s a guarantee you wouldn’t have this same level of success.

If we now look at the potential big name free agents to hit the market, we could potentially already cross off Kyrie, Durant, and Klay. All signs point to Jimmy Butler signing an extension in Philly as well. That means if you’re LeBron, you’re down to like Kawhi, Kemba, Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, Tobias Harris, or DeAndre Jordan. Is that what LeBron was hoping for when he made this commitment? I can’t imagine it is. That’s why Magic has the pressure to bring him Anthony Davis via trade because it’s starting to look like all the big dominos are staying put.

How boring.