Warriors

NBA rumors: Klay Thompson, Warriors will meet at outset of free agency

NBA rumors: Klay Thompson, Warriors will meet at outset of free agency

After the Warriors introduced their three 2019 NBA Draft picks Monday afternoon, general manager Bob Myers answered "yes" when asked if he has formal plans to sit down with Klay Thompson to discuss the future.

We learned some more details Wednesday afternoon, courtesy of Shams Charania of The Athletic:

The Warriors and free-agent All-Star Klay Thompson will meet in L.A. this week at the outset of free agency, league sources said. Should the Warriors enter the meeting with the five-year, $190 million maximum contract, both sides expect a quick agreement, according to sources.

Free agency officially opens Sunday at 3 p.m. PT.

As ESPN's Zach Lowe said Tuesday: "That max offer hasn't been communicated to [Klay] that it's for sure coming ... just because they haven't communicated that the max is coming doesn't mean it's not coming. In fact, I would be shocked -- given what he has meant to their organzation -- if it didn't come."

And as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said: "You can offer your own free agent a deal at any point here. That five-year, $190 million max offer -- if it's not there for Klay Thompson on Sunday at 6:01 p.m. Eastern, the Warriors can then expect him to go out and take a meeting, meetings."

The biggest contract Thompson can get with any other franchise is about $141 million over four seasons.

[RELATEDWhy Iguodala believes KD, Klay will re-sign with Warriors]

Klay, who is expected to undergo surgery to repair his torn left ACL at some point this week, will turn 30 years old on Feb. 8. He is expected to miss a large portion (if not all) of next season because of the knee injury.

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What Klay Thompson said to Kevin Durant about re-signing with Warriors

What Klay Thompson said to Kevin Durant about re-signing with Warriors

Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant were unrestricted free agents this summer.

While Thompson re-signed with the Warriors, KD chose to join the Brooklyn Nets.

Outside of one simple message, the five-time All-Star Thompson didn't say much to the 10-time All-Star Durant in terms of recruiting him to stay with Golden State.

“I mostly just let him be, but I told him we could have the greatest dynasty ever,” Klay told Mark Medina of USA Today Sports.

Oh what could have been.

The Warriors won the title in 2015 and dropped Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals after winning an NBA single-season record 73 games during the regular season.

With Durant onboard, Golden State captured back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018, and almost assuredly would have accomplished the three-peat if KD and Klay had been fully healthy against the Raptors a couple of months ago.

A core -- healthy of course -- of Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Durant and Thompson would have remained the favorites for years to come. But that isn't how things played out.

[RELATEDCould KD return from torn Achilles in time to play Dubs?]

"A change of heart, man," Thompson told Medina. "But I’m never going to hold it against him. He wanted to go to New York City. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

That is correct.

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Klay Thompson believes Warriors win NBA Finals if he doesn't tear ACL

Klay Thompson believes Warriors win NBA Finals if he doesn't tear ACL

The play forever will go down in NBA history. Klay Thompson clutching his knee in agony on the Oracle Arena floor in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals is a sight Warriors fans wish they could erase. 

But it also brings up one of the biggest what-ifs ever in basketball. What if Thompson cleanly finished his dunk attempt with 2:22 left in the third quarter against the Raptors and never tore his ACL? 

For Thompson, the answer to that scenario is an easy one. 

“In my mind, yes, we would’ve won if I didn’t get hurt,” Thompson told The Athletic's Marcus Thompson. “But that’s just the nature of sports, you know? What-ifs? It doesn’t matter. It’s if you do your deed or not. In my mind, I think we would’ve. But you never know. That’s the hard part you’ve got to accept." 

Klay was at his best when he went down. He scored 30 points in 32 minutes in Game 6, and that was just the continuation of a fantastic series against Toronto. Thompson averaged 26 points in five games while shooting a ridiculous 59.4 percent from 3-point range. Catching fire isn't anything new for the five-time All-Star, but this might have been the best version of Thomson anyone has seen. 

He also knows the reality of injuries. While Thompson has been extremely durable for the Dubs over his eight-year career, he has seen stars go down in the past against Golden State on the biggest stage. 

Rehabbing from his own injury now gives him a much different perspective. 

"I look at all the guys who had bad luck getting injured against us the last few years, and I’ve honestly become so much more sympathetic," Thompson. "Yeah. That’s just the nature of the beast.”

[RELATED: Klay should sit out two years, one top knee doctor says]

Despite Kevin Durant leaving in free agency and the Warriors dealing with a whole new roster, Thompson believes the team's dynasty is far from over. But this dynasty, and the future of the NBA, could have looked a lot different with a healthy Klay Thompson in the rest of Game 6 and beyond. 

What-ifs have happened before and they will happen again. For Warriors fans, however, this one will sting for a lifetime.