Klay Thompson Expected to Depart Warriors, Insiders Say

Warriors face tough financial decisions this offseason.

by Faizan Chaudhary
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Klay Thompson Expected to Depart Warriors, Insiders Say
© Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The notion of Klay Thompson stepping onto the court in anything but Golden State Warriors colors may seem improbable to many, but the star guard appears to be setting his sights beyond the Bay Area. Recent discussions on "Warriors Plus Minus," a popular podcast from The Athletic, have shed light on Thompson's potential departure from the team that drafted him.

During the podcast, The Athletic's Marcus Thompson II and Anthony Slater indicated that multiple indicators suggest Thompson is likely to leave the Warriors as he enters free agency this offseason. Slater highlighted the unsettled nature of Thompson's current situation, noting that the veteran guard seems poised to explore the free agency market for the first time in his illustrious career.

"This doesn't bode well for his return," Thompson II added, suggesting that the financial allure from other NBA teams might be too tempting for Thompson to ignore. He pointed out that teams like the Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Philadelphia 76ers are not only potential destinations but could offer Thompson contracts exceeding $30 million annually.

Furthermore, the possibility of additional teams entering the bidding war as free agency kicks off on June 29 remains open.

Warriors' Financial Constraints

Despite the Warriors holding Bird Rights on Thompson, which allows them to offer him a more lucrative deal than any other team, the likelihood of such an offer seems faint.

The Warriors' team governor, Joe Lacob, has openly expressed a desire to reduce the team's substantial luxury tax burden. Following a season where the Warriors expended an astonishing $384 million only to secure the 10th spot in the Western Conference, fiscal prudence has become a priority.

Lacob's management has accumulated $677 million in luxury-tax penalties since the 2013-14 season, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks. With these financial considerations in play and a team roster that could see significant changes in the 2024-25 season, the future of Klay Thompson with the Warriors remains highly uncertain.

As the NBA free agency period approaches, the basketball world will be keenly watching Thompson's next move, which could signal a new chapter for both the player and the Warriors franchise.

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