Klay Thompson appears headed for free agency, reportedly no movement on extension with Warriors

2024 SoFi Play-In Tournament - Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings

2024 SoFi Play-In Tournament – Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings

“We need Klay back…” Steve Kerr said after the Warriors had been eliminated, “I know I speak for everybody in the organization. We want him back. Obviously there’s business at hand and that has to be addressed with Klay’s representatives… as good as he still is, we desperately want him back.”

It looks like Kerr may not get his wish.

As June nears and the NBA’s offseason business starts to ramp up, the Warriors and Klay Thompson have not moved closer to an extension and he is moving toward free agency, reports Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

The Warriors maintain a desire to retain Thompson at the right price once other aspects of their roster retool get clarified. But they haven’t exactly been beating down his door to work out the framework for an extension (which can be signed at any time). In turn, the 34-year-old Thompson appears ready to test free-agency waters, exploring external options for the first time in his career.

Thompson would have multiple suitors in free agency but Slater notes he’s not just going to chase money, he wants to go to a team where he can win. Orlando has long been mentioned as having interest, but other teams with cap space and looking for veteran depth to win in the short term — Philadelphia and Oklahoma City, for example — could be in the mix as well.

Golden State has roster issues it wants to deal with before extending/re-signing Thompson. The Warriors need a second shot creator to take the pressure off Stephe Curry, a role Thompson used to fill at an All-NBA level, but he’s not that guy anymore. Thompson still brings value, he averaged 17.9 points a game shooting 38.7% from 3 this season, but he was streaky, and his shot creation and defense were not near their former levels. With the emergence of rookie Brandin Podziemski plus Moses Moody behind him, the Warriors don’t take a huge step back without Thompson on the court.

Still, it would be weird to see the Curry Warriors without Thompson — or to see Thompson in another uniform.

The question, of course, comes down to money. The Warriors may want a shorter deal that lines up with Draymond Green, who signed a four-year, $100 million extension last summer. Would Thompson take something like three years, $65 million? Would a team like Orlando come in over the top on that offer?

It will be an interesting summer in the Bay Area, which might well include Thompson moving out of it.

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