Warriors Sign Thompson To Max Extension

The Warriors have agreed to an extension with Klay Thompson, the team has announced.  Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link) was the first to report the agreement. The NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriorsdeal is a four-year max extension, and it contains no options, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. The estimated value is in the $70MM range, but the exact figure won’t be known until the league sets the new maximum salary amount in July.

The two sides beat tonight’s deadline to ink a deal while fielding trade offers  from the Kings, who reportedly offered anyone on their roster aside from DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports notes. There were also concerns that Golden State owner Joe Lacob wouldn’t be comfortable shelling out the max for a player, especially when comparing it to the team-friendly deal that Stephen Curry is signed to. According to a report from Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com earlier this month, the Warriors were offering Thompson annual salaries of about $13MM in its proposals, though the sides had been getting closer in recent weeks.

Thompson had 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 $24 billion TV deal kicks in and player salaries are expected to increase markedly. He is a potential two-way superstar, and in 230 career games he has averages of 16.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 2.2 APG. His career slash line is .435/.409/.828.

The Warriors had approximately $62MM in guaranteed salary committed for the 2015/16 season before coming to terms with Thompson, and that doesn’t account for Brandon Rush‘s $1,270,964 player option, or any money needed to re-sign Draymond Green. By adding Thompson’s max-level salary to the equation  the team might seek to unload David Lee, who is set to make $15,012,000 this season, and $15,493,680 in 2015/16. If the Warriors wait until next summer they could try to flip Lee’s expiring contract for some cap relief, though that is purely my speculation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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