Warriors

Klay opens up about possible discount: '100 percent, it'd be different if...'

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USATI

Klay opens up about possible discount: '100 percent, it'd be different if...'

Klay Thompson is not scheduled to hit the market until the summer of 2019, but his free agency is already a topic of discussion.

Last Friday, he told Tim Kawakami and Marcus Thompson of The Athletic that he "probably could" take a discount and sign a contract below the max.

[POOLE: Simple as to why Klay Thompson would consider taking a discount]

And on Wednesday in China, the three-time All-Star was asked more questions about his future.

“We’re talking like 24 months away,” Thompson told reporters (quotes from Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group). “But it’s something that definitely crossed my mind, especially when you see guys like Kevin (Durant) doing it.

"100 percent, it’d be different if I was making scraps off the court. But I’ve been very blessed to be a part of winning team. When you’re part of a winning team, everybody gets to eat.

"So that’s why I’m indebted to the guys around me. Without them, I would not have the deals that I have.”

In late June, Thompson's representatives negotiated a new contract with Anta.

The deal runs through 2026 and could be worth as much as $80 million in total, according to Nice Kicks' Nick DePaula.

The original deal Thompson signed back in 2014 was for six years at a reported $2 million annually.

The 27-year old also has sponsorship agreements with BODYARMOR Sports Drink and Built with Chocolate Milk.

“I’m obviously all for guys getting as much as they can while they have the opportunity to play because this career goes by quick,” Steph Curry said from China. “But the beauty we have here is guys have the opportunity and what we want to continue to have is guys have the choice to do what they feel so right for the betterment of the team and themselves.

"That’s not always the case around the NBA. So it’s a direct reflection of what we’ve been able to create here and the success we’ve had and how much more success we want to have.”

Said Steve Kerr: “We have a special group ... our guys know how special this era is. I think that’s the main thing Klay is trying to express. This is a pretty special era. We know this isn’t going to last for a long time. We’d like to be part of it and also know how special it is to be a part of it.

"That means more than money. That doesn’t mean you’re going to give up everything. But you do what you can to make a living and make the best living you can and best life that you can. Whatever balance that is, that’s what guys are going to do.”

In October 2014, Thompson signed a 4-year extension with the Warriors worth just below $69 million.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Coming Soon: The Steph Curry Effect

Coming Soon: The Steph Curry Effect

OAKLAND -- Postseason basketball is about to get considerably easier for Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant and, well, the rest of the Warriors.

Stephen Curry, sidelined for the past five weeks with a knee injury, could rejoin the Warriors as soon as Saturday for Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinal series against the New Orleans Pelicans.

After going through his first controlled scrimmage since mid-March on Thursday, Curry was upgraded to questionable.

“He did everything and looked good,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

Curry’s return is significant largely for his impact on offense, as his mere presence puts immeasurable pressure on opposing defenses. Nobody spreads the floor quite like he does.

Though he wasn’t needed to put away the Spurs in the first round, Curry might be essential against a white-hot New Orleans team that rolled up points (114.5 per game, 114.7 offensive rating) while containing guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in their first-round sweep of the Trail Blazers.

As good as Lillard and McCollum are, Curry and Thompson would pose an altogether deeper set of problems. Thompson’s length (he’s 6-foot-7) and strength will be tough to the Pelicans to handle. With Curry, the challenge is defending his ability to shoot from deep as well as he penetrates.

The Warriors posted an astonishing 120.4 offensive rating in the 51 games that Curry played in the regular season. Without him, they dropped to just above 106. Those statistics illustrate the Curry Effect.

As Durant has said on multiple occasions: “Steph is the system” with the Warriors. On a team for which any one of three players can ring up 30 or more points in a game, Curry is the centerpiece.

With him, they can take the floor knowing they can outscore just about any team. Without him, they know they that would be an exceedingly tall task.

“We were excited,” Thompson said of seeing Curry on the practice court. “I know he is very eager to play. He’s a competitor, so I know that sitting down kills him. We can‘t wait for him to get back, whenever that is.”

It may be Saturday.

“What we have to do is see how his body responds the rest of the day and put him through another practice (Friday),” Kerr said. “He needs to string together a few good days, but it was very positive today.”

Curry is ready. He closed his practice session, supervised by assistant coach Bruce “Q” Fraser, by shouting, “We back, Q! We back.” The two then leapt into the air, bumping chests and giggling.

Statistical comparison between the Warriors and Pelicans since Cousins' injury

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AP

Statistical comparison between the Warriors and Pelicans since Cousins' injury

On Jan. 26, the Pelicans lost DeMarcus Cousins to a season-ending injury.

Without Cousins, they went 21-13 down the stretch and finished with the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference.

Over that same time period, the Warriors won 19 of their final 33 games (including only seven of their last 17) as they dealt with an onslaught of injuries to their stars as well as their bench.

These stats below (from Jan. 27 through the end of the regular season) paint a picture of how Golden State and New Orleans differed, leading up to their second round matchup starting Saturday night:

OFFENSE:

Assists per game:

Pelicans T-3rd: 27.1 assists
Warriors 5th: 27.1 assists

Rebounds per game:

Pelicans 5th: 46.1 rebounds
Warriors 24th: 42.5 rebounds

Field goal percentage:

Warriors 1st: 49.1%
Pelicans 8th: 48%

3-point percentage:

Warriors 5th: 38.2%
Pelicans 20th: 35.3%

Points per game:

Pelicans 3rd: 112.6 ppg
Warriors 12th: 109.5 ppg

Turnovers per game:

Pelicans 16th: 13.8
Warriors 25th: 15.1

DEFENSE:

Opponent field goal percentage:

Pelicans 5th: 44.6%
Warriors 11th: 45.8%

Opponent 3-point percentage:

Pelicans 5th: 34.5%
Warriors 11th: 35.5%

Defensive Rating:

Pelicans 5th: 103.7
Warriors 12th: 105.6

Blocks per game:

Pelicans 1st: 7.0 blocks
Warriors 2nd: 6.8 blocks