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Klay Thompson Ineligible for Supermax Contract After Not Making All-NBA Team

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2018

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 22:  Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after a play against the Houston Rockets during Game Four of the Western Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 22, 2018 in Oakland, California. 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.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Shooting guard Klay Thompson will not be eligible to sign a supermax contract extension with the Golden State Warriors this season after failing to make an All-NBA team, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks: 

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42

Klay Thompson failed to earn All-NBA honors and is not super max eligible this summer. The guard would be eligible in 2019 when he is a free agent but must earn All-NBA for the 2018-19 season.

The All-NBA teams were announced on Thursday and included Thompson's teammates Kevin Durant (first team) and Stephen Curry (third team).  

NBA @NBA

The 2017-18 All-NBA First Team! @JHarden13 @KingJames @AntDavis23 @Dame_Lillard @KDTrey5 https://t.co/WjlXkXtHnO

NBA @NBA

The 2017-18 All-NBA Second Team! @Giannis_An34 @russwest44 @JoelEmbiid @aldridge_12 @DeMar_DeRozan https://t.co/3XLGZq4XPk

NBA @NBA

The 2017-18 All-NBA Third Team! @StephenCurry30 @VicOladipo @KarlTowns @JimmyButler @Yg_Trece https://t.co/ADQmNvJGrT

Thompson, 28, averaged 20 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in the 2017-18 season on a career-best 44.0 percent from beyond the arc. He was a third-team All-NBA selection in both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, but didn't earn the distinction the past two years. 

A player with with fewer than seven years of NBA service can sign a max contract for 25 percent of a team's salary cap, players with seven to nine years of service can sign for 30 percent and players with 10 years or more of service can sign for 35 percent.

But certain players qualify for a supermax deal, allowing them to earn a higher percentage of a team's salary cap earlier in their careers. The qualifications for a player becoming eligible to sign such a contract are listed below, per CBAFAQ.com:

  • "The player was named to the All-NBA First, Second or Third team in the most recent season, or both of the two seasons that preceded the most recent season.
  • "The player was named the Defensive Player of the Year in the most recent season, or both of the two seasons that preceded the most recent season.
  • "The player was named the NBA Most Valuable Player in any of the three most recent seasons."

It should also be noted that the Designated Veteran Extension, which Thompson would have been eligible for this offseason had he made the All-NBA team, requires a player be with a team continuously unless he was traded during the first four years of his career. 

So Thompson, who is set to hit free agency after the 2018-19, would be in line to earn up to 35 percent of the Warriors' salary cap were he to meet one of the above qualifications. In his case, that means he'll either need to be on an All-NBA team, the Defensive Player of the Year or the league MVP next season. 

As Marks noted, his teammate, Draymond Green, also failed to qualify for the supermax: 

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42

Draymond Green would also have been super max eligible in 2019 had he earned All-NBA this season. Golden State is restricted because of the Steph Curry signing to 1 super max slot. https://t.co/c0EC7AVZh0

Regardless, the Warriors are going to have some interesting decisions to make in the coming years. Per Spotrac.com, Stephen Curry is set to make $40.2 million in the 2019-20 season and Green is under contract for $18.5 million. Add in the hefty contract Durant will likely sign this offseason and keeping Thompson, even if he doesn't qualify for a supermax, may not be feasible for Golden State.

Thompson reportedly will consider an extension, however, as Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic reported earlier in May:

"The fact that Thompson is willing to consider an extension is major. It would essentially tie his next contract to his old one, which he signed before the spike in the salary cap. Signing an extension, as opposed to becoming a free agent and signing a new deal, would significantly decrease the maximum Thompson could make—and save the Warriors millions in luxury tax penalties.

"The most he could get in the first year of an extension is a 120 percent raise. With the highest annual increases allowed, that would put Thompson’s extension at four years and just over $102 million. Add the $18.9 million he is due to make in 2018-19 and Thompson is looking at a maximum five-year salary of $121 million should he sign an extension."

The star shooting guard stands to make more money as a free agent, as Thompson noted, though he reportedly would prefer to stay in Golden State, even at the expense of missing out on potential earnings. And it's possible the Warriors could seek to trade him now in an effort to get assets back if they don't believe re-signing him will be possible. Or Thompson could indeed take a pay cut to remain with the team.

In every scenario, there will be sacrifices made, either for the team or for Thompson.

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