11:51am: Thompson is unwilling to accept a discounted extension, as Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News group hears (Twitter link). It’s not entirely clear whether that means he’s unwilling to drop beneath a $15MM average annual value or if he won’t take any deal for less than the max.
11:12am: The Warriors and Klay Thompson haven’t made progress toward an extension in the past few weeks, and the sides are $2-3MM apart in the average annual value of their proposals, sources tell Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com. Still, it doesn’t appear as though agent Bill Duffy has lost optimism that the sides will strike agreement, Poole adds.
Thompson wants at least $15MM a year, while Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob isn’t sold on the idea of paying Thompson as much as the approximately $15MM that David Lee will make this season, according to Poole, who indicates that the team is hovering around $13MM in its offers. A July report indicated that Thompson was seeking the max. It won’t be clear until next July just how much Thompson could make in a max extension, since the cap figures won’t be set until then, but such a deal would yield about $85MM over five years based on this year’s max, or $66MM over four seasons. Next year’s maximum salaries will likely rise above those figures, given the projected increase to the salary cap.
The Timberwolves were prepared to give Thompson a max extension if they had acquired him in a trade for Kevin Love, sources tell Poole, but the Warriors steadfastly held Thompson out of those talks. The Warriors have appeared high on Thompson, and GM Bob Myers last month expressed a desire to strike a deal to keep him around, echoing the vow that Lacob made in the spring. Thompson wants to come to an agreement and his teammates do, too, Poole writes.
Lacob has hinted at a willingness to exceed the luxury tax in the past, but he doesn’t want to do so at this point, Poole hears. The Warriors already have about $56MM in commitments for 2015/16, so an extension would bring the team relatively close to the tax threshold for that season, though it’s unknown just where the tax line will be. Still, the league’s $24 billion TV deal figures to soon bring about a sharp rise in the salary cap, and the tax line along with it, so even a max extension for Thompson probably wouldn’t put the Warriors in too much danger of repeatedly becoming a taxpayer in the years ahead.
The Warriors have apparently budgeted for a Thompson extension, though it’s unclear just how much they’ve set aside. It’s uncommon for the team to strike an extension deal ahead of the deadline to do so, notes Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group (Twitter link). So the lack of progress at this point doesn’t necessarily mean that talks won’t gain momentum closer to October 31st, the final day that the sides can put pen to paper on an extension.