Keeping the Golden State Warriors together was always going to become astronomically expensive. However, Klay Thompson may take a team-friendly contract extension that would open the door to keeping their core together.
- Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors have already had discussions about a team-friendly contract extension, according to a report.
- The two sides have currently discussed an extension that would come out to about four years, $92 million; Thompson could make up to $139 million if he signed with another team in free agency.
- Keeping the Warriors core together was always going to become astronomically expensive, but Thompson giving the team a discount could help the team stay together.
The concern about keeping the Golden State Warriors juggernaut together always came down to money. How could the Warriors afford to keep four All-Stars and some valuable role players under contract at once?
They accomplished a significant step last year when Kevin Durant took a two-year deal worth less than the max, allowing Golden State to dig deeper to re-sign Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.
While Durant is on a short-term deal that the Warriors need to address this summer or next, the real concern was always with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Could the Warriors afford to re-sign key cogs to max contracts when they were already paying so much money to other players?
According to Marcus Thompson of The Athletic, Klay Thompson may be in a position to alleviate some of that concern.
According to Marcus, Klay and the Warriors have already begun discussing a possible contract extension. Marcus reported that the two sides had discussed an extension worth an average of $23 million per year, which would come out to about a four-year, $92 million extension.
If Klay were to hit the open market, the most he could receive from an opposing team would be four years, $139 million. If Thompson were to take the Warriors' extension mentioned above, it would be nearly a $50 million discount for the Warriors.
That discount would only be greater compared to what Thompson could make if he wanted to re-sign with the Warriors for the max. According to Marcus, Klay could sign a five-year, $188 million with the Warriors if he became a free agent in 2019, based on current salary cap projections.
As Marcus noted, there's a chance the Warriors would merely pass on re-signing Klay if he only demanded the five-year max in 2019. Even for the Warriors — who admittedly went "way over" on their budget this past summer — re-signing all of their stars to max deals that took them into their 30s would be too much.
Klay has indicated that his free agency won't be about money. He has said he's happy in Golden State and couldn't imagine playing elsewhere.
And just going by Thompson's weather preference, the Bay Area holds an advantage over some other cities, particularly in the midwest and northeast.
"The sunshine has been so good to me," Thompson told reporters last April after a 41-point performance. "Being able to get outside, it just puts me in a great mood to come to the gym every day, get my work in and go home and enjoy the outdoors. And the Bay Area is beautiful. That's a big part of it. Not even kidding. It's been so nice to get outside."
It didn't sound like a player eager to jump coasts for, say, New York or Philadelphia winters.
If the Warriors could re-sign Thompson to a team-friendly extension, it would leave only the contracts of Durant and Green to handle. The Warriors would likely have no qualms about signing Durant to whatever deal he wants. After all, it was Durant's arrival in 2016 that took the team to a new level.
Green may be trickier, as he would be the last of the four players up for a new contract. He'll be 30 when he hits free agency, with a lot of miles playing as an undersized center.
Thompson potentially taking a discount deal could open up the doors to keeping this dynamo together.