Sam Amick of USA Today interviewed many of the key decision makers in Golden State regarding Klay Thompson‘s extension negotiations, including the shooting guard himself. Thompson’s agent Bill Duffy, who is reportedly seeking the max for the fourth-year sharpshooter, tells Amick that the reason he’s demanding so much for his client in extension talks with the Warriors is that he views Thompson as the best shooting guard in the league.
“I don’t want Kobe Bryant to go crazy, but there’s some uncertainty as to who he is right now [due to injury]” Duffy said. “But I think Klay Thompson right now is the top two-way, two-guard in basketball. I think when you look at his body of work, when you look at what he accomplished guarding point guards on a regular basis [last season], I think it’s pretty clear.”
Warriors owner Joe Lacob declined to get into specifics about Thompson’s potential rookie scale extension, but reiterated the team’s commitment to locking him up long-term. Golden State reportedly budgeted with Thompson’s future in mind, convincing Andrew Bogut to take less in his extension, and Lacob says that the move that first brought Bogut aboard and sent away guard Monta Ellis was made to accommodate Thompson as well.
“We traded an excellent guard freeing up a starting spot for him,” said Lacob. “As is known, despite many requests from other teams over the last few years, we have continued to bet on his continued development. We are very proud that he is a Warrior and also of his major contribution on this year’s USA Basketball team. We are looking forward to a great year for Klay, the Splash Brothers and the Warriors.”
For his part, Thompson tells the USA Today scribe that the trade speculation involving him and Kevin Love earlier in the summer didn’t upset him, and that he has no interest in exploring opportunities elsewhere as a restricted free agent next summer. Thompson believes that the Warriors are capable of competing for a championship.
“I wasn’t really [angry],” Thompson said, countering rumors of his displeasure. “I was more just worried about being traded, just because I’m so comfortable in the Bay. I think that’s natural for anybody [to not want to] just get up and move. I mean it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, but it’s a business, and I’m still playing ball for a living. I was more happy when they showed faith in me that they didn’t want to budge and trade me for a guy [in Love] who’s a multiple all-NBA guy and a proven All-Star. I thought that was really cool that the Warriors believed in my potential…Me and Steph [Curry] have another year together, and we’ve got a proven big man, all-NBA defender [in Bogut]. I really believe we can be a championship team.”
Amick surmises that Golden State’s unwillingness to deal Thompson for Love, along with his strong play in the regular season and for Team USA, has shifted all the leverage to his side of the negotiating table.