Klay Thompson Wants To Re-Sign Despite Sixth Man Role

Klay Thompson‘s new role as a sixth man will not make him less inclined to re-sign with the Warriors, he told Sam Amick of The Athletic.

Thompson, who will be an unrestricted free agent in July if he doesn’t reach an extension agreement with Golden State, came off the bench for the fifth consecutive game on Tuesday.

“You’ve still got to examine all of your options, but I would love to be a Warrior for life,” Thompson said. “Whatever happens though, I’ve got a few more years to play this game, so I’m gonna enjoy every second. I realize that I see light at the end of the tunnel, (and) I’m not sure if I want to play until I’m 40, man. That sounds really exhausting.”

Thompson had a 35-point game against Utah the first time he came off the bench. He scored 23 first-half points against Denver in Golden State’s last game on Sunday and is averaging 18.1 points per night in his reserve role. Until this month, he hadn’t come off the bench since his rookie season.

While Thompson is adamant that moving a bench isn’t a deal-breaker, it’s uncertain whether Golden State’s ownership and front office are willing to go deeper into the luxury tax and above the tax aprons to retain him. Amick hears that Thompson has received no assurances from management that his desire to remain with the Warriors will be a shared priority this summer.

Coach Steve Kerr, who just signed a contract extension, said Thompson has handled his new role with class.

“He’s been great,” Kerr said. “His approach feels so much better than it was even a few weeks ago. This has been an emotional season for him. You guys know this. He’s been grappling with his mortality in some ways as an athlete. He knows how good he was six years ago, and he’s had a hard time reconciling everything after the injuries. The thing that we keep trying to convince him of is he’s still a hell of a player. But he’s at his best when he’s not pressing and he’s not stressed out (or) worried about trying to be the guy he was six years ago.”

His teammates are grateful for the way he’s accepted being a sixth man.

“We can’t win without him being good or without him being a key piece,” big man Kevon Looney said. “Whether that’s starting or off the bench, we’re not contending without him being special. We all care about him. We all want him to succeed. We all want him to be great. So when he’s not doing well or his energy’s not great, it kind of weighs on everybody else. He knows that.”

View Comments (25)