The much anticipated NBA free agency of 2019 is poised to be flooded with superstar options. But one of the most tempting targets might not be on the shopping list after all.
Klay Thompson, the four-time All-Star shooting guard for the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors, emphatically stated his hopes for free agency next summer, which don’t include a call to any moving companies.
“I’ve said it many times before: I would like to be a Warrior for life,” Thompson told the San Jose Mercury News in a report Sunday.
Per the report, the three-time NBA champion sharpshooter touched on his intentions entering the final season of his contract prior to hosting an event kicking off his first Thompson Family Foundation Golf Tournament on Sunday at TPC Harding Park. While Thompson acknowledged that nothing is imminent between him and the Warriors, he said the admiration is mutual between club and player.
“Contract negotiations are way down the line. But I think we all have the same interest,” Thompson said to the Mercury News. “I would love to be here for the rest of my life.”
He is entering his eighth season with Golden State.
Thompson’s comments come on the heels of freshly reported comments his father, Mychal, made at a party on Friday preceding the same golf tournament. His comments intimated his son’s true intentions.
“Oh yeah, you can mark it down,” said Mychal Thompson in a report Saturday by the San Francisco Chronicle. “Klay’s going to retire in the Warriors’ uniform.
“He’s going to play at Chase Center (the Warriors’ arena scheduled to open in 2019), and he’s not going to be at Chase Center as a visiting player. He’s going to be a Warrior for the next seven or eight years.”
Both father and son had made similar comments in the past about Klay Thompson’s long-term desire to staying with the Warriors. According to prior reports, the reigning champions reportedly have been talking about a new contract with Thompson since May. The Athletic reported then that the Warriors and Thompson had engaged in discussions on a contract that would keep him in Oakland for at least another five years -- at a discount rate to also help the club retain All-Stars Kevin Durant and Draymond Green for years as well.
The 28-year-old has one year remaining on his contract and could make a maximum of $121 million over five years if he agrees to a four-year extension. If he plays out his contract next season and then signs a five-year deal with Golden State, Thompson could make a maximum of $188 million.
If Thompson were to sign elsewhere as a free agent after next season, the maximum deal he could get would be four years for $139 million.
According to the Athletic report, Thompson is considering a four-year extension, but worth only $92 million -- a five-year value of $111 million when you include his 2018-19 salary.
In an interview with Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher after news of the reported offer became public, Thompson said, “it would be hard for me to envision going anywhere else.”
The two-time NBA champion shot a career-best 48.8 percent from the field in the 2017-18 season, including 44 percent from beyond the 3-point line -- also a career high.
Thompson averaged 20.0 points per game in the regular season, the fourth consecutive season he has averaged at least 20 ppg.