Klay Thompson

Warriors Notes: Lineup, Howard, Roster Spots, Load Management, Kerr

The decision on the Warriors’ starting lineup will be made during training camp, coach Steve Kerr said in a video link provided by The Athletic’s Anthony Slater.

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney and Chris Paul will all get significant minutes regardless but Kerr wants to look at various combinations before making a decision.

“We basically have six starters, the way I look at it,” he said. “Only five can go each night, so I haven’t decided yet what we’re going to do. I want to see in training camp. We’re going to try to different combinations. Obviously, all six guys are going to play a lot of minutes for us. But if this is going to work, everyone is going to have to embrace it, regardless of who is starting and who isn’t.”

Kerr will look at a smaller lineup with either Green or Looney in the middle. However, he likes the chemistry that Green and Looney have developed over the years.

We have more on the Warriors:

  • In regard to Dwight Howard meeting with the front office, general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. said the longtime center is just one of many candidates for the remaining roster spots. The Warriors have held open the 14th and 15th spots. “In general, we brought in maybe 40 or 50 guys this summer to get a further look at,” Dunleavy said, as relayed by Warriors on NBCS (video link). “Some of them, we’ll bring into camp.” Dunleavy added that he’s not targeting a specific position to fill one or both of those spots. “We’re kind of open,” he added.
  • Dunleavy said the team will follow the new league rules regarding load management, Warriors on NBCS relays in another video link. Kerr has sometimes rested multiple starters during back-to-backs in recent years. “The league makes the rules. We’ll play by them,” Dunleavy said. “That’s the best I can say.”
  • Kerr says he’ll run a tighter ship after the Warriors’ disappointing postseason performance, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “When you lose in the second round and you feel like you’ve had a disappointing year, it’s a lot easier to come in and be focused,” Kerr said. “It’s a lot easier for me to come in as a coach and be more demanding, and I think the players will expect that, too.”

Dunleavy Optimistic On Kerr, Thompson Extensions

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr says he’s not concerned about entering the final year of his contract and anticipates he’ll be with the organization for the long haul, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets.

“I feel great about my position here and I want to be here … I’m not stressed about it at all,” Kerr said during a press conference on Monday. “I’m perfectly capable of coaching whether I have one year left or an extension. Makes no difference but I fully expect to be here.”

Shooting guard Klay Thompson is also in the final year of his contract. He’ll make $43.2MM during the upcoming season.

General manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. is optimistic he’ll be able to reach agreements with both Kerr and Thompson, Warriors on NBCS tweets.

“On both sides, there’s a desire to extend or be back, to make sure those guys are with the Golden State Warriors moving forward,” Dunleavy said. “Both sides feel that way and when you’re working off of that idea, you can come to a deal.”

Dunleavy, who also held a press conference, added that there’s “no specific timeline” to reach extension deals with Kerr and Thompson.

In a story written prior to the press conferences, Slater said it’s anticipated that negotiations with the head coach will be less complicated, since there are no luxury tax concerns with coaching salaries.

No official offers or counteroffers have been made from either side regarding an extension for Thompson, Slater reports. However, neither side is in a hurry to get something done. Slater anticipates that talks will heat up prior to the season.

Golden State is intent on not hitting the second tax apron next summer, which makes those negotiations trickier. In consultation with The Athletic’s cap expert Danny Leroux, Slater estimates that Thompson could be offered anywhere from around $42MM to approximately $51.9MM as a starting salary, but suggests the Warriors would be taking a risk if they go much above $42MM since they won’t know the actual cap increase until after the season.

If they don’t reach an extension agreement, they’d risk losing one of their longtime core pieces.

Pacific Notes: Bradley, Warriors, Thompson, Suns

With the Warriors eyeing the free agent market for a possible frontcourt addition, Tony Bradley is an option to keep an eye on, reports The Athletic’s Shams Charania (Twitter link). Golden State is actively considering signing Bradley to a deal, according to Charania.

Bradley, 25, holds career averages of 4.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in 179 career appearances across six NBA seasons. After being drafted by the Lakers with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2017 draft, Bradley’s rights were immediately traded to the Jazz. He played three seasons in Utah and also had stints with Philadelphia, Oklahoma City and Chicago.

This news comes off the heels of the Warriors scheduling to meet with free agent center Dwight Howard next week. As we noted in that story, Golden State is continuing to do its due diligence on available bigs. The team was interested in Harry Giles and JaVale McGee before each agreed to deals with other teams. Charania mentions Dewayne Dedmon as another player on the Warriors’ radar, while Derrick Favors is another option.

As we wrote on Friday, Golden State is at 13 players on standard contracts and needs to get to at least 14 by opening night.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Appearing on an episode of The Lowe Post with ESPN’s Zach Lowe, Ramona Shelburne said the Warriors have opened extension talks with guard Klay Thompson. According to Shelburne, Thompson, who’s due to hit unrestricted free agency in 2024, could end up with a deal similar in structure to the four-year, $100MM contract Draymond Green signed this summer. That would mean Thompson could be in line to receive a three-year extension. The report that the two sides are engaging in these discussions isn’t a major surprise, as owner Joe Lacob went on record stating his intentions to keep Thompson a Warrior for the “rest of his career” earlier this month.
  • The NBA’s new player participation policy is ultimately a good thing for fans, according to Dana Scott of the Arizona Republic (subscriber link), who takes a deeper look at what it means for the Suns. Phoenix is among 15 teams with multiple players who are affected by the policy, which includes any player named to an All-NBA Team or All-Star Game across the past three seasons. Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal are all impacted by the rule, and Scott explores how that will impact each player’s availability for the Suns’ upcoming season and slate of nationally televised games.
  • In case you missed it, the Clippers, Warriors and Suns are among teams who are over the NBA’s second tax apron and are limited to just minimum contracts for potential veteran signings.

Lacob: Warriors Want To Keep Thompson For “Rest Of His Career”

Sharpshooter Klay Thompson has spent his entire career with the Warriors, winning four championships and earning five All-Star nods in his 10 active seasons (he missed 2019-21 due a torn ACL and a torn Achilles tendon). He’s entering the final year of his contract, which will pay him $43.2MM in 2023/24.

Appearing on a podcast with The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami, owner Joe Lacob was asked if he expects Thompson, who is eligible for an extension, to remain with Golden State beyond the upcoming season.

I do,” Lacob said. “We’ve had some very brief discussions at this point with his agent. But they’re very, very early. … I fully expect that we’ll have some substantial discussions soon sometime and we’ll see if we can’t put something together that allows Klay to be here for a long time, which we clearly would like him to be.”

As Kawakami points out, both Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins took pay cuts in order to sign long-term deals with the Warriors, and Thompson will almost certainly have to as well due to the club’s massive payroll and luxury tax situation.

Look, it’s August and there’s plenty of time to work all this out,” Lacob told Kawakami. “His contract doesn’t expire until next year. We love him and I know he knows we love him. And we’re going to try to do something here for the rest of his career.”

Based on Lacob’s statements, Kawakami believes the two sides will work out an extension before the season begins. Thompson is eligible to add four years onto his current deal, up to his maximum salary.

Thompson, 33, averaged 21.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists on .436/.412/.879 shooting in 69 regular season games (33.0 minutes) in ’22/23. In his first full season back from the major injuries, he struggled somewhat in the playoffs, posting a .388/.368/.875 shooting line in 13 games (36.0 minutes), well below his career postseason splits.

Still, the core group of Stephen Curry, Green and Thompson has had a ton of success over the past decade, and the team has been motivated to keep the core together. We’ll have to wait and see if a deal comes to fruition in the coming weeks like Kawakami predicted.

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Santos, Staudt

Former NBA player Mychal Thompson says his son, Klay Thompson, is in great shape ahead of the 2023/24 season, he tells Mark Medina of Sportskeeda.

“He’ll be back hungrier than ever,” Mychal said of Klay. “He’s two years removed from his serious injuries. He’s been working out like crazy. He looks good, lean and ready to go. I expect him to be at a high All-Star level again. It’s possible. But the West is so loaded with guards. You’re going to have to be hooping out of your mind because all of these guards in the West could make the All-Star team.”

The longtime Warriors guard is entering the final year of his contract, which will pay him $43.2MM this season. Will that be a distraction for Klay?

He’s not worried about that,” Mychal Thompson told Medina. “He knows he has a job to do with coming into camp in the best shape and having a great year. Everything else will take care of itself.”

The elder Thompson also talked to Medina about Klay’s future with the Warriors, the possibility of his son representing either Team USA or the Bahamas ahead of next year’s Olympics, and other topics. The interview is worth checking out in full if you’re a Golden State fan.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Brazilian forward Gui Santos, who is currently competing at the 2023 World Cup, was the No. 55 overall pick last year by the Warriors. He wound up signing an NBA G League contract in 2022/23 and spent his first season in the U.S. playing for the team’s affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors. The 21-year-old added 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason and had a strong Summer League showing, but he’s expected to once again play for Santa Cruz in ’23/24, reports Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area.
  • According to Johnson, Santos is currently ineligible for a two-way deal with Golden State because he’s still under contract with Brazilian team Minas. The Warriors could buy out his current deal — which ends after ’23/24 — in order to give him a standard contract, but that isn’t expected to occur, Johnson writes. In other words, Santos likely won’t be making his NBA debut until at least ’24/25.
  • The Warriors are hiring Wizards scout Jason Staudt to join their front office, league sources tell veteran reporter Marc Stein (Twitter link). Staudt has worked in various roles with several NBA organizations, including the Magic, Blazers, Rockets and Suns.

Stein’s Latest: Bahamas, Gordon, Thompson, Jones, Giannis

The Bahamas just had its most successful international run ever, winning a pre-qualifying tournament — and eliminating Argentina in the process — to have a shot at making next summer’s Olympics if the national team can win another six-team tournament.

FIBA drew some criticism for allowing veteran guard Eric Gordon to compete with the Bahamas, as he previously played for Team USA at the 2010 World Cup. However, as Marc Stein writes at Substack, Gordon does have a legitimate tie to the Bahamas — his mother was born and raised in the island nation, and the U.S. granted him permission to switch allegiances, likely due to his advanced age (he’s 34).

Here’s more from Stein:

  • Stein hears the Bahamian national team isn’t finished recruiting NBA players, with Evan Mobley, Isaiah Mobley and Naz Reid all eligible to represent the country. Stein also wonders if the team will recruit Klay Thompson, whose father, former top overall pick Mychal Thompson, is from the Bahamas.
  • Like Gordon, Klay Thompson would have to become a naturalized citizen in order to compete for the Bahamian team, and only one such slot is available in FIBA events. Thompson has already won a pair of gold medals with Team USA. His father neither confirmed nor denied that his son might attempt to compete for the Bahamas in the future, simply telling Stein, “We’ll see.”
  • Derrick Jones Jr. considered signing with the Heat in free agency, league sources tell Stein. The veteran forward, who played two-plus seasons in Miami, instead signed a one year, minimum-salary deal with the Mavericks.
  • The Lakers and Knicks are among the teams that may intrigue Giannis Antetokounmpo if he were to leave the Bucks in the future, according to Stein. The two-time MVP recently expressed a desire to keep winning championships, wherever that may take him. Antetokounmpo can become a free agent in 2025.

And-Ones: Washington, Available FAs, Player Tiers, CBA

Exploring possible destinations for some of the top remaining free agents, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report suggests that many people around the league think that P.J. Washington – the only standard restricted free agent still on the board – will eventually accept his qualifying offer from the Hornets. Pincus also confirms that the Lakers have conveyed interest in big man Christian Wood.

In considering a potential landing spot for Kelly Oubre, who averaged more than 20 points per game last season, Pincus notes that Memphis makes some sense. While it’s not clear if the Grizzlies have actually expressed interest in Oubre, Pincus points out that they haven’t really replaced Dillon Brooks at forward and have some young players – such as Ziaire Williams or Josh Christopher – who might appeal to the Hornets in a sign-and-trade scenario.

Here are a few more odds and ends from the league:

  • Seth Partnow of The Athletic has published the first two installments of his player tier rankings for the 2023/24 season. Breaking down the top 125 players of the league into five tiers, Partnow lists 45 players in tier five – including Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson and Raptors forward Scottie Barnes – and 41 more in tier four, such as Kings center Domantas Sabonis, Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram, and Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns. Partnow’s top three tiers will consist of 39 players and will presumably be posted later this week.
  • Now that hoarding cap room into the regular season is no longer a viable strategy, Rob Mahoney of The Ringer wonders how the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will change the way that rebuilding teams approach future offseasons.
  • With no sign that the Damian Lillard or James Harden situations will be resolved anytime soon, John Hollinger of The Athletic questions whether the NBA’s player empowerment era has reached its ceiling. During the last several years, stars who ask for trades have sought increasingly specific destinations despite having less and less leverage, Hollinger observes, adding that the outcomes for Lillard and Harden could create new benchmarks for future star trade requests.

Pacific Notes: Gordon, Ayton, Thompson, Booker, Paul, Watanabe

Eric Gordon, who joined the Suns as a free agent this summer, is playing alongside new teammate Deandre Ayton with the Bahamas national team this month, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic notes.

The new Suns guard scored 12 points as Bahamas defeated the Kansas Jayhawks, 87-81, Monday in an exhibition game in Puerto Rico, Rankin tweets. Ayton didn’t play in the exhibition. Gordon played for Team USA in 2010. Team Bahamas will play in the FIBA Americas Olympic pre-qualifying tournament August 14-20 in Argentina.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Warriors guard Klay Thompson had a dust-up with the Suns’ Devin Booker early last season and was ejected for the first time in his career. However, Thompson now characterizes it as a moment of weakness. Appearing on Paul George‘s Podcast P, Thompson expressed his admiration toward Booker, Rankin relays. “He survived a tough regime in Phoenix where everyone is getting traded,” Thompson said. “He’s playing for a new coach every year. Now he’s franchise player who just kept working. I admire the guys who have work ethic like that.”
  • During the same podcast, Thompson said he’s thrilled the Warriors acquired Chris Paul and believes the veteran point guard will elevate his game. “That’s one of the greatest players ever,” Thompson said. “He’s top 75. He’s elevated every franchise he’s ran the point for and me as a shooter, I’m excited because I know CP is going to put it right here on the seams. He’s going to set me up nice. I’m going to get a couple of easy extra buckets every night. And he’s a winner. I’ve played against him so many times and seen how competitive he is. He’ll do anything to win and that’s the vibe you want, you know, with the Dubs.”
  • Yuta Watanabe was one of many free agent pickups for the Suns and Gerald Bourguet of GoPhnx.com takes an in-depth look at Watanabe’s strengths and weaknesses. Bourguet concludes that Watanabe will be an elite spot-up weapon who will fit in extremely well off the bench.

Warriors Notes: Lacob, Paul, Poole, Thompson, Podziemski, Curry

Warriors owner Joe Lacob insists the team never really had a two-timeline approach, which makes the recent trade for Chris Paul easier to understand, writes Madeline Kenney of The San Jose Mercury News. Golden State gave up 24-year-old guard Jordan Poole in exchange for Paul, who turned 38 in May and has a long history of injuries, especially in the playoffs.

Lacob called the trade a “multi-faceted decision” and said management considers every move with the goal of producing a championship-level team each year. The trade provides future financial flexibility because Paul doesn’t have any guaranteed money beyond the upcoming season, and Lacob hinted that moving Poole became a greater priority after he was punched by Draymond Green during last year’s training camp.

“We had to change something,” Lacob said. “While it’s a short-term move, Chris Paul is a fabulous Hall of Famer who will I think certainly help our second unit, help our first unit if he plays there, wherever he plays, he’s a tremendous guy.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Lacob said no talks have taken place yet regarding an extension for Klay Thompson, Kenney adds. Lacob is optimistic that a new deal will be worked out and said he wants to see Thompson, Green and Stephen Curry spend their entire careers with the organization. Lacob added that he also expects to “figure something out” with head coach Steve Kerr, who is entering the final season of his contract.
  • First-round pick Brandin Podziemski was disappointed by his performance during Summer League and the team’s lack of success, per C.J. Holmes of The San Francisco Chronicle. Podziemski shot just 26.3% from the field and 21.7% from beyond the arc as the Warriors went 0-5 in Las Vegas and 1-6 overall this summer. Holmes observes that the rookie guard had trouble finishing in the lane against larger defenders. “We didn’t win a game (in Vegas), so it’s tough,” Podziemski said. “I think individually I played pretty bad, but that’s why it’s Summer League, and that’s why we have time to grow and develop until October.”
  • Curry made a hole-in-one Saturday and holds the lead at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Nevada. During the playoffs, Curry told Baxter Holmes of ESPN that he loves golf, but doesn’t plan to pursue the PGA after his basketball career ends. “It’s a very time-intensive sport and to be very good at it and practice and what I heard these pros go through, it’s different,” Curry said. “I don’t know if I’m ready for all that. But I know I’ll be good enough to compete in those other events that are fun and competitive at the same time.”

Warriors Rumors: Green, DiVincenzo, Kuminga, Poole, Paul, Thompson

The Warriors are optimistic about re-signing Draymond Green and have been discussing a three-year deal with his representatives, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype and Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Slater says trading for Chris Paul was a win-now move that the team wouldn’t have made without a level of confidence that Green will return. He projects a new contract for Green starting close to the range of the $27.6MM player option that he declined, but adds that every $1MM the Warriors can save is important because of their inflated tax bill.

There may not have been a realistic market for Green in free agency, Scotto adds. The Kings were floated as a possibility because their head coach is former Warriors assistant Mike Brown, but Scotto points out that they’re hoping to sign Kyle Kuzma and had to work out a new deal with Harrison Barnes. The Pistons and Grizzlies were also mentioned, but Slater states that Memphis dropped out of consideration with the Marcus Smart trade.

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Donte DiVincenzo is expected to sign elsewhere and may be able to land a non-taxpayer MLE, which would be more than twice what Golden State can offer him, according to Scotto. Sources tell C.J. Holmes of The San Franciso Chronicle that the Knicks have emerged as the favorite to land DiVincenzo, who prefers to play on the East Coast and is hoping to receive a contract starting at $9-12MM. However, Scotto isn’t convinced that DiVincenzo would be a good fit in New York considering the number of guards already on the roster.
  • The Pacers were among the teams that inquired on Jonathan Kuminga, offering mainly draft assets in return, sources tell Scotto. Slater also cites interest from the Raptors and says Golden State began asking about OG Anunoby before the trade deadline. However, Slater doesn’t believe the Warriors have been shopping Kuminga, saying the organization still has confidence in him and he’ll likely be on the team when next season begins.
  • The decision to part with Jordan Poole in the trade for Paul was necessary to unload his contract, but coach Steve Kerr welcomed the chance to move on from a player who was fourth in the league in turnovers last season and often took poor shots, Slater states. Slater envisions Paul as the leader of the second unit, helping to develop young players such as Kuminga and Moses Moody.
  • Getting rid of Poole’s contract increases the chances for a Klay Thompson extension, according to Slater. Paul’s $30MM salary for 2024/25 is non-guaranteed, so more long-term money is available for Thompson. Slater doesn’t believe the Warriors have started negotiating a salary with Thompson yet, but he expects the veteran guard will have to accept a reduction from his current $43MM.