Next summer’s NBA free agency could have another potential shift of power between the two conferences, just like this year’s edition. With players such as Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, and Kemba Walker all slated to become free agents, there will be an arms race on who can acquire which players.
Thompson, who shares the same backcourt in Golden State with fellow splash brother Stephen Curry, has been linked to possibly joining the Los Angeles Lakers next summer.
However, in a recent interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Klay’s father, Mychal Thompson who played for the Lakers, shut down the notion of his son playing in Los Angeles or anywhere else at that.
“Oh yeah, you can mark it down,” the elder 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.”
It is one thing for Klay’s dad to say it is a stone cold lock that his son will be staying with Golden State, but financially can it work out for both sides? Thompson is entering the last year of his four-year, $68 million contract extension that he signed back in 2014.
Four years ago, he was not the player that he is today, meaning Thompson will get paid in free agency. Some unknown team or the Warriors will offer the former first-round pick close to a maximum deal.
Will Klay Thompson decision impact Durant next summer?
If the Warriors decide to offer him close to a max deal, it possibly leaves Durant in a conundrum who re-signed with Golden State for two years. Durant is under contract for this upcoming season, but has a player option in 2019, meaning he could either opt-in or become a free agent.
But Klay Thompson is not worried about the money when it comes to his next deal. It seems like his heart is set on staying in Golden State, just like his dad reiterated.
“I’ve said it many times before: I would like to be a Warrior for life,” Thompson said to Bay Area News Group’s Mark Medina. “Contract negotiations are way down the line. But I think we all have the same interest. I would love to be here for the rest of my career.”
It would not be a surprise to see Thompson in Golden State for the rest of his career. He’s in a great spot with a legendary team that just continues to get better each season.
That being said, the Warriors’ front office will have to make a couple of tough financial decisions to keep their core group together. Should Thompson take a pay cut to stay or will Durant be heading somewhere else next summer?
Those questions will be answered in the following weeks and months. But for now, the Golden State Warriors seem destined to make another championship run next season with Klay Thompson along for the ride.