Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors' Joe Lacob: 'We Are Going to Re-Sign Klay Thompson'

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 13: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors stands on the court during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers on April 13, 2014 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2014

In 2011, by way of losing and pingpong balls, Klay Thompson splash landed with the Golden State Warriors. Now, nearly three wonderful years later, he's not going anywhere.

Speaking with 95.7 The Game's Greg Papa, Warriors owner Joe Lacob made it clear the team plans on keeping Thompson around:

Shocking, I know. 

Why wouldn't you keep a burgeoning, sharpshooting star? Are the Warriors allergic to winning and made three-pointers?

Believe it or not, though, Thompson's status in Oakland was a source of uncertainty leading into this season, as ESPN's Ethan Strauss noted in November:

Leading up to the Feb. 20 NBA trade deadline, Thompson's name was also thrown around consistently. Nothing serious was ever "reported," but with the Warriors potentially on a talent hunt, Grantland's Zach Lowe was among many who pointed out that they would have to part with Thompson to make any serious upgrades.

Trading or parting ways with Thompson doesn't appear to be in the cards now. Not after he continued to evolve as a scorer during the regular season, dropping 18.4 points per game while drilling 41.7 percent of his three-point attempts.

And most certainly not after the season Harrison Barnes had.

Barnes' uncertain ceiling should help keep Thompson with the Warriors.
Barnes' uncertain ceiling should help keep Thompson with the Warriors.Bart Young/Getty Images

Staunch Thompson advocates may have to thank Barnes more than anything or anyone. After a spectacular 2013 playoff campaign, he was expected to have a monster sophomore season. But he flopped instead, averaging just 9.5 points on 39.9 percent shooting per game. 

It was initially thought the Warriors would only be able to afford one of their young studs when their rookie deals approached conclusion, but with Barnes' career trajectory very much up in the air, Thompson has become indispensable. 

Thompson will be eligible to sign an extension this summer. The Warriors will have until Oct. 31 to iron out a deal, otherwise he'll enter restricted free agency in summer 2015. Even if they're hell-bent on re-signing him, they're barreling toward an interesting dilemma.

According to ShamSports, the Warriors could already have more than $61 million on their books for 2015-16, when Thompson's extension would kick in. Most of what he commands will go on top of that, inching them closer and closer to luxury-tax territory. It will be interesting to see how they construct their team heading into summer 2015 knowing that, assuming Thompson is already locked down.

The actual contract will be even more interesting. There's no definitive number we can put on Thompson's value, but is he worth more than the four years and $44 million the Warriors gave teammate Stephen Curry in 2012? 

Possibly. Given the shortage of star shooting guards in the NBA, let's actually go with definitely. 

Looks like the Splash Brothers will live to fight at least a few more years together
Looks like the Splash Brothers will live to fight at least a few more years togetherRocky Widner/Getty Images

Curry's annual salary will never exceed $12.2 million under his current deal, per ShamSports, so there's a strong chance that Thompson could be earning more than him entering 2016-17, which would be the second year of his extension and the final season of Curry's current pact.

But that's a discussion for another year. Right now, it doesn't appear Thompson will be leaving the Warriors due to insurmountable financial obstacles. That's what's important.

"I love Oakland, love this team and love the Bay Area," Thompson told RealGM's Shams Charania in January. "It’s a great area, it’s beautiful, and one of the coolest parts in the country. Best fans in the NBA."

Fans it seems he will be calling his own for years to come.

 

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