Simple as to why Klay Thompson would consider taking a discount


Simple as to why Klay Thompson would consider taking a discount

Klay Thompson’s willingness to consider a discount on his next contract is but the latest squint into why the Warriors are where they are, leaving the other 29 NBA teams brainstorming in despair.

It’s as simple as Thompson really, really liking where he is.

The reasons are as varied as they are legitimate, and they apply to everyone from Bob Myers and Steve Kerr to Nick Young and Omri Casspi.

It’s the culture that was created by co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, is administered by general manager Bob Myers and is splendidly implemented by coach Steve Kerr.

The culture begins with talent, because it’s innate to every thriving culture. Then there is freedom, appreciation and enthusiasm. And the trust; there has to be trust because trust equates to sincere commitment.

And if the winning is the ultimate clincher, the Bay Area/Silicon Valley geography is a fantastic bonus.

That’s how Thompson can visualize taking less than the maximum contract when he becomes a free agent in July 2019.

Asked on the Warriors Plus/Minus podcast with Marcus Thompson II and Tim Kawakami of The Athletic about the possibility of sacrificing a few million dollars in two years, Klay last Friday said he “probably could,” but maybe not as much as Durant, whose off-court earnings are larger than his salary.

“It’s a blessing whatever contract I sign,” Thompson said. “I would definitely consider it ‘cause I don’t want to lose anybody.”

It’s the culture. Every member of the Warriors realizes no other franchise in the league can offer the combination of workplace comfort, open-minded environment, genuine trust, success on the court and opportunity off it.

It explains why Kevin Durant opted out of his contract to become a free agent and then volunteered to take about $10 million less than he deserves for this season.

It explains why Shaun Livingston, who had played for eight different franchises before landing with the Warriors in 2014, never shopped the market upon becoming a free agent in July. Minutes after the window opened, he agreed to return on a three-year deal, with the third year only partially guaranteed.

“You can’t put a price on happiness,” was Livingston’s response when asked about what might be available elsewhere.

The culture also explains why Stephen Curry -- becoming a free agent in July after profoundly outperforming his previous contract -- actually approached Myers wondering if the team would benefit from him taking less than a max deal he so clearly deserved.

Myers, of course, wasn’t having it. Told Curry he was going to get the full max, no ifs, ands or buts -- even if he was willing to take less.

The Warriors culture is also why, even as he entertained other offers, Andre Iguodala never, in his heart of hearts, wanted to leave. He eventually got precisely what he wanted all along: Three more years in the Bay Area, with a contract that makes him feel appreciated.

Iguodala describes the Warriors culture as healthy, adding that they have a lot of the right people in a lot of the right places. Prior to re-signing in July, Curry spent two years telling anyone who would listen that he was right where he wanted to be. Durant describes the Warriors as “where you go when you graduate” from the remedial qualities of typical NBA teams.

Thompson told NBC Sports Bay Area last week that he believes the Warriors have a chance to join the short list of NBA teams to be associated with the term “dynasty.” That is, at the very least, a hint to his long-term personal aspirations.

The Warriors have won 207 games in the three seasons since Kerr arrived. They’ve reached the NBA Finals in all three seasons, winning twice. They’ve opened a season with 24 consecutive victories, on the way winning an NBA-record 73 games. They’ve had an MVP (Curry, twice), a Coach of the Year (Kerr), a Defensive Player of the Year (Draymond Green) and two different Finals MVPs (Iguodala, Durant).

They’ve had two champagne celebrations, followed by championship parades.

As for Thompson, he has had a charmed career, making the playoffs in five of his six NBA seasons. As the Warriors flourish, his brand thrives. He is one of four All-Stars on the most popular team in American sports.

The Warriors during Thompson’s career have been transformed from an NBA wasteland into its most coveted destination. So it is no surprise he’d consider a discount. As the son of a former NBA player, he knows, and has been told, how well he has it.

Four things we learned while Steph Curry dealt with fourth ankle injury

Four things we learned while Steph Curry dealt with fourth ankle injury

The Warriors’ usual late-spring sprint toward the postseason, already slowed to a limp, deteriorated into a forlorn crawl Monday night in San Antonio as they were losing for the fourth time in six games.

Draymond Green, the only “healthy” member of the team’s All-Star quartet, left the game in the second quarter with a pelvic contusion and did not return.

Though Green said after this 89-75 loss to the Spurs that he doesn’t consider this a serious injury, it’s abundantly clear reinforcements can’t arrive soon enough.

Stephen Curry, a profoundly superior reinforcement, may return as soon as Friday.

Curry’s tender right ankle is scheduled to be reevaluated Tuesday, after which the Warriors will establish a timeline for his return. He could, according to team and league sources, be back in the lineup Friday night when the Atlanta Hawks visit Oracle Arena.

That would provide a massive injection of talent for the Warriors, who lost of three games during a four-day stretch in which they were forced to rely heavily on reserves and role players.

“We’re already shorthanded and then we lose another All-Star, the glue to our team, Draymond, at halftime,” said Quinn Cook, who in scoring 73 points over the past three games did an admirable job of trying of producing Curry-like numbers.

As good as Cook was on Monday, scoring 20 points, it’s a bit much to ask Cook to lead the Warriors past a San Antonio team fighting to extend its 20-year streak of consecutive playoff appearances.

The Warriors are built around their four All-Stars -- Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Curry and Green. They usually can withstand the loss of one, and they can often are OK missing two. But when it’s three, and possibly four, the defending champs are a home without a foundation.

As the Warriors were losing four of six games, and two of the last three, we have learned four things:

1) Cook is an NBA keeper.

The point guard from Duke, who turns 25 on Friday, has proved not only that he belongs in the league but also that he can survive in the rotation of a championship contender. He’s considerably more effective than Pat McCaw. Even if everybody were healthy, it would be hard, maybe foolish, to deny Cook minutes.

2) Kevon Looney continues to smooth the rough edges of his game.

The Warriors opened the season uncertain what they could expect from a forward that has undergone surgery on both hips. Month after month, though, he has done most everything they could have asked. He operates well in their switching defense, is effective in traffic and now he’s blocking shots and raining jumpers. At this rate, the Warriors would be delighted to have him back next season.

3) David West and Jordan Bell are in search of rhythm.

West was reliably excellent, at both ends, prior to missing five games with a cyst on his right arm. Since returning last Friday, there have been visible signs of rust. He’ll be OK in time, but at 37 likely needs another game or two to rediscover his touch.

Bell missed 14 games with a left ankle sprain, returned briefly, sustained a sprain of his right ankle and missed three more games. In the three games since his return, he has yet to look comfortable. It’s not just rust; it’s also the team around him. He’s at his best when supporting the stars. It may take him a while before he shines again.

4) Postseason minutes may be scarce for Nick Young

The Warriors hired Young to score while not embarrassing himself on defense and he has had good moments on both ends. But his inconsistency -- partly attributed to unspectacular conditioning -- grates on coaches and sometimes teammates. As much as he wants to enjoy the postseason, he’s playing his way toward an insignificant role unless injuries dictate otherwise.

Source: Warriors, Curry aiming for Friday return


Source: Warriors, Curry aiming for Friday return

The Warriors have been without Stephen Curry for six full games and all but the first two minutes of a seventh. The last three were less out of medical necessity than an abundance of caution.

Curry could, however, return as soon as Friday when the Atlanta Hawks visit Oracle Arena, multiple sources disclosed to NBC Sports Bay Area on Monday night. ESPN, citing league sources, was first to report the team’s plan.

The two-time MVP’s right ankle is scheduled to be reevaluated Tuesday, after which time a firm return date is expected.

Curry was physically able to play -- and actually pushed to return -- last weekend, according to league sources. But the Warriors, looking ahead to the playoffs and seeing diminished value in the remaining regular-season games, opted to continue rehabilitation in hopes of maximizing support for the area around his ankle.

The Warriors have described Curry’s injury not as a sprain but a “tweak,” implying less severity.

Though the Warriors won the game in which Curry was hurt, 110-107 over the Spurs on March 8, they have since lost four of six, including 89-75 on Monday in San Antonio.

The Warriors arrived early Tuesday morning and won’t practice Tuesday afternoon and are contemplating skipping an official practice on Wednesday.

The Warriors, averaging a league-leading 115.5 points per game this season, saw that figure drop to 103.3 during Curry’s six-game absence.