Klay Thompson has been around the NBA his entire life, both during his father Mychal Thompson’s career and now as an All-Star guard for the Golden State Warriors.
In May, Thompson spoke to the media about the first time he met Michael Jordan, when he was at a Portland Trail Blazers game in 1998. Klay and his family were living in Lake Oswego, Ore. at the time, and his dad was able to get the boys a chance to meet MJ and Scottie Pippen after the game.
Footage has now surfaced of that encounter, featuring the trio of Thompson boys meeting the NBA Hall of Famers for the first time.
Despite the lack of sound, it’s clear that the boys were blown away -- as just about any basketball fan at the time would be -- by the chance to meet NBA royalty.
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Klay, of course, had the least star-struck reaction as he just got his autograph and walked away, while his brothers stuck around.
I'm sure Jordan had no idea that he was signing an autograph for a kid who would grow up to win three NBA championships and receive two All-NBA accolades, all before his 30th birthday.
Marreese Speights didn’t have an extended tenure with the Warriors, but it was full of exciting moments.
The reliable stretch four was a valuable reserve in Golden State, including being part of the 2015 NBA championship team. Since leaving the Bay Area after the 2015-16 season, Speights has played for two other NBA teams and spent a few seasons playing in the Chinese Basketball Association.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak putting a hold on American sports, Speights was slated to join the BIG3 via one of the league’s new expansion franchises.
“I just think it’s a platform for me to play basketball,” Speights said on a special, virtual edition of “Warriors Outsiders" last week. “I did a lot of things in the NBA, I won a championship, that’s the most important goal.
“So for me, being back to playing basketball is just gonna be fun.”
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The roar Speights would get if he took the floor at Chase Center sometime in the future would be incredible.
The league was scheduled to get underway in June, although it remains to be seen when many American sports will be able to pick things back up after this extended hiatus.
General manager Bob Myers and the Warriors front office have some work to do whenever the NBA offseason begins.
After five straight NBA Finals appearances, the Warriors have the worst record in the NBA this season.
So, it’s up to Myers and Co. to add a few pieces that will help the Warriors get back into contention for an NBA title.
In addition to having one of the top picks in the 2020 NBA Draft and a massive $17.2 million trade exception acquired in the Andre Iguodala deal, the Warriors will have the ability to use the taxpayer mid-level exception, which ESPN’s Bobby Marks estimated will be around $5.9 million.
That number is based on the salary cap, and if that number goes down due to the loss of revenue caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, the value of the taxpayer mid-level exception could shrink as well.
Hard capped by the D’Angelo Russell-Kevin Durant trade with Brooklyn last summer, the Warriors couldn’t go over the luxury tax line this past season. But in 2020-21, the hard cap is gone and Draymond Green’s contract extension kicks in, meaning Golden State will cross the luxury tax threshold.
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The Warriors can use the entire taxpayer MLE to sign one player or they can split up the total to sign several players.
Here are 11 pending free agents, in no particular order, that the Warriors could use the Taxpayer MLE on this offseason:
VIEW 11 WARRIORS' TARGETS HERE