Latest On Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson has spent his entire NBA career with the Warriors after being selected 11th overall in the 2011 draft, making five consecutive All-Star teams from 2015-19 and winning four championships. However, the 34-year-old is set to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent, and a return to Golden State appears far from certain.

Klay Thompson, I’m told, is open to all external options in free agency coming up,” Shams Charania of The Athletic said on FanDuelTV’s Run It Back show (Twitter video link). “He intends to test free agency.

We know the Warriors want him back — they offered him an extension before the start of the season. … What team out there could step up for Klay Thompson? That is gonna be the big question. But the Warriors will stay in touch with him.”

League sources tell Charania and Anthony Slater of The Athletic that there’s “mutual interest” between Thompson and the Magic, which has been rumored to be the case for at least two months. Golden State has “made clear” it wants to retain Thompson “at the right price and in the right role,” per The Athletic’s duo.

According to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area, Thompson is looking for a deal that covers a minimum of three years. Poole also hears the Warriors’ front office wasn’t alarmed by Thompson’s decision to stop following the team on Instagram, which has become common practice in contract negotiations.

He’s going to have to be really patient,” Thompson’s friend and former teammate Leandro Barbosa told Poole. “I hope he comes back to the Warriors. I don’t know what’s the situation, but it’s going to be tough. I know the money (in NBA contracts) is going up, and he’s been thinking about the money.

But I think he needs to be happy. I think that’s the most important thing.”

Poole suggests rival teams could be willing to offer Thompson more money than the Warriors. Still, as Charania mentioned, it’s unclear which teams might target Thompson beyond perhaps Orlando. Slater previously floated the Sixers and Thunder as possibilities, though Thompson would presumably be a fallback option for Philadelphia, which is reportedly focused on Paul George.

Thompson remains one of the league’s top three-point shooters, averaging 9.7 attempts per game while converting 40.0% of his looks beyond the arc over the past two seasons. However, the torn ACL and torn Achilles tendon that cost him two full seasons have sapped his lateral quickness and athleticism, so he isn’t the same player he once was, particularly on defense.

For what it’s worth, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and longtime teammates Stephen Curry and Draymond Green all expressed a desire for Thompson to return after the veteran guard/forward was held scoreless (he went 0-10 from the field) when Golden State was eliminated by Sacramento in the West’s play-in tournament.

Thompson will join the Bahamian national team for its training camp this week in Houston, but he isn’t expected to play in the country’s Olympic qualifying tournament early next month, according to Charania and Slater. Thompson would need official clearance to play for the Bahamas in international competition since he won a gold medal with Team USA in 2016, and that is not expected to occur, per The Athletic.

Thompson’s father Mychal Thompson is from the Bahamas and his brother Mychel is an assistant coach on the national team.

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