Golden State Warriors swingman Klay Thompson sees a bright future for the franchise, and he's hoping to stick around for it. He told the San Francisco Chronicle's Rusty Simmons, "I think we’re becoming one of the premier franchises in the NBA. It’s awesome to be part of it."
The comment came in response to a question about Thompson's thoughts on signing an extension with the organization, an eventuality Thompson clearly would like to see happen. He's a fan of what the Warriors have already accomplished, and he seems to think things are headed in the right direction.
That includes the hiring of Steve Kerr. Though Thompson confessed that, "It was tough seeing coach [Mark] Jackson go," he also praised Kerr, saying:
I’m excited about Steve. I feel like he has a brilliant mind for the game. He was a great shooter, so me and Steph (Curry) can really learn from him. He was around winning for his whole career, so that’s cool. We got a guy who knows how to win. I’m excited to get to work with him. I think we can build a great relationship together.
Owner Joe Lacob indicated in April that the Warriors would re-sign Thompson one way or another. NBCSports' Dan Feldman subsequently pointed out that it really wouldn't make much sense to do otherwise, writing:
Considering Andrew Bogut, David Lee, Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry will already be under contract for $50,974,922 in 2015-16 and team options for Marreese Speights, Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Nemanja Nedovic could push the payroll to $61,423,828, the Warriors as constructed are unlikely to have cap room in 2015 whether or not they re-sign Thompson. So, they might as well re-sign him.
Golden State could keep its core group together and remain pretty competitive. It's proven as much over the last two seasons.
Nevertheless, the club could also look to acquire another superstar to pair alongside Stephen Curry and Thompson. One such superstar who's been linked to the franchise is Minnesota's Kevin Love. The Warriors could theoretically build a package around David Lee and the up-and-coming Harrison Barnes.
When asked about Love, Thompson told The Chronicle, "I think he’d be a great fit, anywhere. Any time you can add a perennial All-Star, whose game is so versatile, your team is going to immediately get better. Whether it’s us or someplace else, he can fit in."
Sounds like something of an endorsement.
Of course, Love already has plenty of suitors. Golden State would have to sell Love on signing an extension and beat out other offers the Timberwolves have under consideration. So, we probably shouldn't get too excited about any trade scenarios just yet.
Besides, the Warriors are indeed looking more and more like a premier franchise either way.