Warriors Notes: Thompson, CP3, Kuminga, Wiggins, Offseason

Warriors wing Klay Thompson had his worst game of the season at the most inopportune time on Tuesday, as he went 0-from-10 from the field and was held scoreless in 32 minutes of action during Golden State’s season-ending play-in loss to the Kings.

It’s an inauspicious way for Thompson to wrap up a contract year, but his head coach and longtime teammates made it clear after the game that they still want to see the 34-year-old sign a new deal with the Warriors this summer, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN.

“We need Klay back,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters. “He’s still got good years left. And I know I speak for everybody in the organization: We want him back. … What Klay has meant to this franchise and as good as he still is, we desperately want him back.”

Draymond Green and Stephen Curry, who have won four championships with Thompson during their time in Golden State, agreed with Kerr’s assessment of the situation.

“(Klay is) going to make the best decision for him, the team’s got a decision to make and they’ll make the best decision for the team. … I don’t think there’s any scenario where Klay leaves and that’s the best decision for this team and organization,” Green said. “(The organization) has shown nothing but respect, loyalty, love and trust. I’ve got no reason to think, ‘Oh man, they’re not going to do right by Klay.'”

“I could never see myself not with those two guys (Thompson and Gren),” Curry said. “I understand this league changes and there are so many things that go into it and we’re not going to play forever, but we’ve experienced so much together and at the end of the day I know they want to win, I know I want to win, and that’s all I’m worried about.”

As Andrews writes, extension discussions between Thompson and the Warriors stalled in October and were put on the back-burner during the season. While Andrews suggests there were no reassurances from the team that the two sides would eventually work something out, there’s still reportedly mutual interest in a new deal.

Sources tell ESPN that Thompson would ideally like a contract that aligns with the rest of the Warriors’ core. Curry, Green, and Kerr are all under contract through at least 2026.

Here’s more on the Warriors as their offseason begins:

  • Tim Kawakami of The Athletic also explores Thompson’s upcoming free agency, predicting that the Warriors will make a fair offer, possibly in the range of $20MM per year for two or three seasons. If another team exceeds that offer, it will likely come down to whether Thompson wants a change of scenery or would take a little less to stay in Golden State, Kawkami writes.
  • Veteran point guard Chris Paul, who will turn 39 next month, made it clear on Tuesday that he doesn’t intend to retire, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll be back with the Warriors, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Kerr told reporters that he “loves” coaching Paul and that he “really hopes” the Warriors are able to retain him. However, it probably isn’t practical for the team to keep Paul on his non-guaranteed $30MM contract, and the Warriors would lose any form of Bird rights if they waive him. Within his story on Thompson, Kawkami suggests that CP3 “almost certainly” won’t remain in Golden State.
  • In addition to exploring Thompson’s free agency and Paul’s future in his preview of the Warriors’ offseason, Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link) discusses the organization’s financial outlook and roster-building restrictions while pointing out that Jonathan Kuminga will be extension-eligible beginning in July. The Warriors spent a total of $382.5MM on this year’s roster in salary and tax penalties, Marks notes (via Twitter).
  • The Warriors have no interest in tanking and still plan to make the most of Curry’s remaining seasons, sources tell ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Insider link).
  • Within his look at what’s next for the franchise, Lowe suggests Andrew Wiggins is a possible trade candidate, but cites sources who say that Wiggins’ contract (three years, $85MM) may be viewed as a negative asset by potential trade partners, who would ask Golden State to attach a more valuable asset to take it on. Lowe adds that Golden State’s front office “remains very high” on Kuminga’s potential as the young forward becomes extension-eligible.
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