The torn ACL that Klay Thompson suffered in the NBA Finals didn’t give Golden State any second thoughts about keeping him in free agency, CEO Joe Lacob said on the Warriors Insider Podcast (relayed by Dustin Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area).
An agreement on Thompson’s new five-year, $190MM max contract was announced shortly after the start of free agency on July 1. He will miss most of the first season of that deal, as his injury is projected to sideline him until February or March.
“There was no doubt in my mind, whatsoever,” Lacob said. “I, and we, want Klay to be here for a long time. He’s one of my favorite players in the world.”
Thompson suffered the injury late in Game 6 as the Warriors were clinging to a three-point lead. He landed awkwardly on a dunk attempt and grabbed his knee. Golden State wound up losing the game and the series.
“ACLs … not good, OK we know that,” Lacob said. “But stuff happens and that’s an injury that now people know how to manage. Plenty of people have come back from ACLs and done pretty well. Honestly, (not re-signing him) didn’t even remotely cross my mind.”
This is the first serious injury that Thompson has experienced since joining the Warriors as the 11th pick in the 2011 draft. He has appeared in at least 73 games every season and contributes on both ends of the court, averaging 19.5 PPG over his career and frequently taking the toughest defensive matchup.
“Personally, I think he’s the greatest two-guard — I’m old school. I know it’s positionless basketball, but I go by positions. To me, he’s the greatest two-guard on the planet,” Lacob said. “… He’s a two-way player. He’s got great size and he’s an incredible shooter and he plays hard. What more can you ask for than Klay Thompson? Why would you not want Klay Thompson?”