Following a dramatic and exciting finish to Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinal Series against the Houston Rockets, the owner of the Golden State Warriors, Joe Lacob, commented that he might be hearing again in the offseason.
While speaking with ESPN about Klay Thompson and Steph Curry he said:
“Obviously, my intention is to keep them as part of our organization forever. That’s our goal. We’ll see what happens.”
That statement is going to be put to the test this summer with Thompson and Kevin Durant hitting free agency. Durant has said he wants as much money as he can get in his next deal. Now, that could mean that he gets as much as he can get out of the Warriors.
But the Warriors will also be looking at having to pay Klay Thompson—and rumor has it that he wants a max deal.
There is no way Durant takes what he can get from the Warriors if they sign Thompson to a max deal. Based off what Lacob said following the last Rockets game, you have to think that is the plan. Because if they don’t pay Thompson, someone else will.
So, do they keep Thompson over Durant?
Durant has been bringing a lot more to the table than Thompson since he joined the team making it hard to justify keeping Thompson over Durant. But if Lacob meant what he said about Thompson and Curry following the Rockets game, that is what will happen.
The oddsmakers at MyBookie.ag seem to think Thompson will still be with the Warriors next season:
- Golden State Warriors -500
- Los Angeles Lakers +250
- New York Knicks +900
- Brooklyn Nets +900
- Los Angeles Clippers +900
- Field +300
Of course, whether or not he does will likely depend on how he plays while Kevin Durant remains out during the Western Conference Finals (which could be through Game Five if not longer).
With Steph Curry struggling and Durant out, the onus is going to be on Thompson to produce on the offensive end of the court. If he does and proves that the Warriors can win without Durant, the Warriors are going to be forced to pay him whatever he wants.
But if he doesn’t, they could be more inclined to try to get Durant to stay and let Thompson go. If the odds are to be believed, Durant is not expected to resign with the warriors in the offseason. However, if the Warriors decide a more diverse offense is desired, then they may be willing to let Thompson go no matter how well he plays in the WCF.
Of course, the deciding factor will be Kevin Durant. If he is open to staying with the Warriors, then the team would be foolish not to try to sign him even if it means losing Thompson. But if he has his heart set on New York (or somewhere else), then they will make every effort to make sure Thompson stays.
Despite Lacob’s declaration, the smart money is probably on the field until it becomes clear what Durant’s decision is.