Klay Thompson Extension Talks Aren”t ‘Just Business’

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With Draymond Green getting a new 4-year, $100 million contract this summer and Stephen Curry in the second year of his 4-year extension, the last member of the Warriors’ long-time core without a long-term deal is Klay Thompson.

The sharp-shooting wing is extension eligible right now, as he’ll get set to begin the last year of his current deal when the season begins in just over a week, but he and the Warriors are reportedly no closer to a deal than when talks began. On Sunday night, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported talks haven’t advanced at all and the two parties aren’t close on years or dollars, which isn’t a great sign for a deal getting done. Also on the NBA Countdown desk alongside Woj on Sunday night was former Warriors GM Bob Myers, who was the perfect person to turn to and ask what these talks are going to be like.

Myers joked this exact scenario was why he left before detailing why these conversations with a player like Thompson can’t be “just business,” despite what ownership and the front office might want folks to believe.

“Well this is why I left, first of all,” Myers said. “Look, a lot of times people will say ‘it’s just business,’ but this is not a ‘just business’ situation. There’s going to be a statue of this player outside of Chase Center. He was instrumental in bringing four championships. He’s beloved inside the organization and in the fan base. So it’s not so simple as money and years. This is why it was hard for me, Malika, you get relationships with these people, especially if you succeed with them. And that core has been together for 12 years, and that’s so rare now. That just doesn’t happen. So this is a delicate negotiation. From what I know and see, he wants to stay. They want him to stay. Doesn’t mean it’ll happen. But it is a test. It’s certainly a test like Woj said, and it’s the first real test.”

Myers was rather famously one of the most outwardly emotional general managers in basketball, and so it’s not a surprise for him to be willing to highlight the difficulty of navigating this kind of negotiation — and I also don’t think it was 100 percent a joke when he said this is why he left. On the free agent market, Thompson will be given a value based on what he can provide during the years he’ll sign for, but in Golden State, there is a bit of an expectation for him to be paid also for what he’s provided over the last decade plus (and reasonably so). That is the difficulty in this negotiation, where Thompson wants to be taken care of long-term while the organization can’t help itself but to think about future flexibility. It’ll be fascinating to see if they let this get to free agency to let the market dictate his value and risk losing him, or if they’ll maybe pay a bit more than they want to in order to keep Thompson in good spirits and avoid this lingering throughout the season.

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