Klay Thompson won’t be frustrated by ongoing contract negotiations much longer. A new report says the Golden State Warriors sharpshooter will sign an extension with the team before Friday’s deadline passes.
Despite the sides being multiple millions apart earlier this month, Thompson was always bound to receive a max-level contract from the Warriors – the question was simply when. And though financial details of new talks between agent Bill Duffy and Golden State are unknown, it’s safe to assume the team finally acquiesced to demands of Thompson’s camp.
There’s just little reason for the Warriors to resist giving Thompson a rookie maximum contract at this point, especially when he and the team played so well during the preseason. The 24 year-old averaged a staggering 29.2 points and per-36 minutes of exhibition play on a scorching true shooting percentage of 65.0. Even if he’d struggled during that meaningless competition, though, Golden State would still be obligated to meet Thompson’s contractual wishes eventually. His two-way worth, excellent performance for Team USA at the FIBA World Cup, youth, and position make him an extremely valuable commodity.
Point being, Thompson is going to get paid a max deal at some point. The Warriors could play the long game by letting him hit restricted free agency next summer and simply match any offer sheet he signs, but ceding now ensures no rift between the parties will ever exist. Golden State certainly doesn’t want to rock the boat during an exceedingly smooth start to 2014-2015, and needs to capitalize on retaining Thompson long-term after refusing to part with him in a potential trade for Kevin Love.
Then there’s the fact that a rookie maximum for Thompson is actually a worthwhile deal for the Warriors. An approximate salary of $15-$16 million over five seasons further straps Golden State’s financial flexibility, but will eventually make Thompson underpaid as the salary cap drastically spikes in 2016-2017 as a result of the league’s new television deal. The team is much better off paying him the max now as opposed to allowing the potential route of a qualifying offer for next season followed by giving Thompson the new maximum under summer 2016’s cap.
But even that is close to a doomsday scenario. Klay wants to be a Warrior, and the Warriors want Klay. Even if this report proves inaccurate, there’s still every reason to believe Thompson will be wearing blue and gold for the next several seasons. And considering the undeniable logic behind an extension agreement now, it seems likely that a deal will indeed get done by Friday’s end.
What do you think?
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