Klay Thompson will be a free agent on July 1st. It’s his 3rd contract which means it is the really big one. Klay isn’t eligible for the supermax because he hasn’t been MVP, Defensive Player of the Year or All-NBA. But no one’s crying for the money Klay won’t be getting. What he will be getting will have a lot of zeroes.
Kevin Durant is a free agent as well. If he decides to leave the Warriors and sign with the Kyrie Knicks, his salary will go to Klay Thompson. If he re-signs with the Warriors, he will get all the money Joe Lacob and Co. can give him. Durant isn’t eligible for the supermax because the Warriors didn’t draft him. But if he returns to the Warriors and christens the Chase Center- the first time in 50 years the Warriors will be back in San Francisco- the Dubs payroll will hit the stratosphere. And that’s before Klay Thompson has one dime.
With Durant, the Warriors will be looking at $130 million payroll. Add Klay Thompson’s max deal, and Boogie Cousins, and the Warriors will possible hit the $90 million luxury tax penalty.
This year the Warriors have an astronomical $145 million payroll which doesn’t lead the league. They are second to the Miami Heat who are still paying off Chris Bosh’s contract. Giving Klay what he wants, which is at the Warriors discretion, and paying Kevin Durant a max deal for his two NBA Finals MVP’s, and giving Boogie Cousins some money, and filling out the roster with minimum deals, the Warriors will have payroll inching towards $200 million and serious luxury tax penalties. (This year they are almost at $70 million in luxury tax). Did I mention in 2020 Draymond Green is a free agent?
Joe Lacob, always arrogant, never sweating, isn’t bothered. Players may leave the Warriors but not because of the money. They will leave because they want to leave. “Nobody is going to outspend us.”
The Warriors new arena gives them 100% of profits including concert revenue. They can afford to write the league a $100 million dollar check for their tax bill. But should they? Is it good business?
The business part isn’t Klay Thompson problem. He isn’t going to cut his employers a sweetheart deal. Yes, he would lower his salary demand to get a top tier talent. But he isn’t going to lowball what he has earned so the Warriors brass won’t have to write Adam Silver a check. Klay is taking care of his money. The Warriors billionaires have to take care of theirs.
Klay’s resume speaks for itself, besides the three titles. 7 out of 8 seasons shooting 40% from three. 4 straight seasons making 50% of 2-point shots. Only 1 year under 80% free throw shooting. 5 straight years at 20 ppg.
But. He has only one 20.0 PER season and that was four years ago. Over his career, he has only managed 34% of his shots 3-10 feet. He’s just not as good in the playoffs. Exponentially, his numbers go down except in 2016 when he averaged 24.3 ppg. Ironically, that was the year the Warriors didn’t win the title.
The Warriors will, unless something extraordinary derails them, finish off their 3-peat, making it almost impossible to not sign Klay Thompson to the maximum amount allowed. He is the reason they are so special as a dynasty and have no NBA peers.
Klay Thompson will get paid. And the Warriors will set one more record if Durant doesn’t defect. Highest payroll in NBA history.