Steve Kerr on Klay Thompson’s free agency: ‘Klay wants to be here, we want Klay’
When ESPN’s scoop master Adrian Wojnarowski said recently the Warriors were preparing for a “seismic change” this offseason, some took that to mean more than just the expected Kevin Durant departure from the Bay Area.
Klay Thompson is a free agent as well, and there are a lot of teams that will pitch him more than a max contract — that’s a given no matter where he lands — but the chance to step out of Stephen Curry’s shadow and lead a team. Rumors are floating around that he is unhappy with the touches he gets after Durant and Curry.
Don’t bet on it. I have heard all season from sources that Thompson would stay with the Warriors as long as they offered him a full five-year, $190 million max contract, which they intend to do. (Try to sell him on taking less and then things change, his camp has been very clear about that.) I said that again just this week on the Lakers’ flagship radio station in Los Angeles. Thompson himself has said he wants to be a Warrior for life.The Warriors are not worried about Thompson leaving, it’s a very different situation than with Durant, reports Nick Friedel of ESPN. This quote from Andrew Bogut may sum the story up best:
“You’ve never heard [Thompson] say anything bad about wanting to leave here or going to another team or being the No. 1 option. You’ve never even heard that off the record. Some players say the right thing publicly but have different feelings [in private]. He completely wants to be here and he gets it that this is a very rare situation.”“I know that everybody -- coaches, management, ownership -- everybody wants Klay back,” Kerr said. “I think the feeling is just, Klay wants to be here, we want Klay.”
Another reason for all that Warriors’ confidence — they know Thompson is not a guy who seeks out the spotlight. Rather the opposite. He may want more touches (which he will get plenty of if/when Kevin Durant leaves), but he’s not a guy who needs “his” team to lead to be happy.
Predicting in May what will happen in July is a tenuous exercise, things change and minds change. But the Warriors believe Thompson will join Curry and company in the move to the Chase Center. We will find out July 1 if that faith will be rewarded.