3:28pm: Optimism surrounds the talks, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com, who indicates that the Warriors continue to receive trade inquiries about Thompson from other teams. Coach Steve Kerr today told reporters, including Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group, that he’s “quietly confident” that the team will reach an extension with the shooting guard by tonight’s deadline (Twitter link).
OCTOBER 31ST, 1:05pm: The sides were $3MM apart on annual salaries three weeks ago, but that gap has since closed to between $1MM and $1.5MM, according to Poole (Twitter links). A report from overnight indicated that negotiations remained open.
OCTOBER 25TH: The Warriors continue to resist making Klay Thompson a maximum-salary extension offer, frustrating the shooting guard and his camp, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. The Warriors have come close to the max, but a source close to Thompson called the notion of the rising star taking a deal worth less than the max “absurd.”
Warriors owner Joe Lacob isn’t comfortable with shelling out the max, Spears writes, echoing a report from Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com earlier this month that indicated the team was offering annual salaries of about $13MM in its proposals. A maximum offer would come to about $85MM over five years or $66MM over four based on this year’s figures, though those numbers will likely be higher when the league reveals its maximum salaries in July. Until then, the precise amount the Warriors would have to pay Thompson in a max deal is unknown. Maximum salaries go up and down with the cap, and a report from Sean Deveney of The Sporting News this week suggesting that the league’s $66.5MM cap projection is a conservative one, that might be at the root of Lacob’s hesitancy.
Friday is the deadline for the sides to reach a deal, and Thompson has expressed a preference for the security of an extension rather than a one-year deal next summer that would allow him to hit unrestricted free agency when the league’s new high-revenue TV deal kicks in come 2016. It’s most likely that the Warriors would prefer to sign the Bill Duffy client to a long-term deal rather than a one-year pact if he were to become a restricted free agent next summer. Still, Thompson’s desire for security after his name was in Kevin Love trade rumors for much of the summer was one reason I thought the sides would agree to an extension for less than the max, as I wrote when I examined Thompson’s extension candidacy.