With the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly open to punting on this year’s free-agency class in favor of a 2019 talent pool that includes Kawhi Leonard (player option), Jimmy Butler (player option) and Klay Thompson, fans of the Purple and Gold won’t want to here this:
Mychal Thompson, Klay’s father, doesn’t see his son leaving the Golden State Warriors.
From Sporting News’ Mitch Lawrence:
As Mychal Thompson made clear, Klay is more than content in his present role, winning titles with the former MVPs, Curry and Kevin Durant, getting the top billing.
“He doesn’t need to be ‘the guy,'” Mychal Thompson told SiriusXM NBA Radio’s “Above the Rim” on Tuesday. “He loves playing there. He loves playing with Steph and KD and the whole crew. He loves living in the Bay Area, it’s a special place, and they’re going to have a beautiful, new arena in a couple of years in San Francisco. So Klay is not looking to leave. That’s up to the Warriors.”
A lot can happen between now and 2019, but if there was ever an All-Star fourth-wheel who didn’t feel like a voluntary flight risk, it’s Klay Thompson. He’s never had a problem ceding touches or status to Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant or Draymond Green. He continues to work hard at the defensive end, even as analysts and metrics lampoon his value on that side, and he never stops zooming around screens and making cuts on offense. Assuming he’s as chill as he comes across, he’ll be perfectly fine remaining with the Warriors, getting paid and winning titles without ever receiving the same shine as Curry or Durant or even Green.
This isn’t to say Thompson is a lock to stay put. At least part of his future is out of his hands. The Warriors will be staring at a potentially untenable luxury-tax bill by the time 2019 rolls around. They have to plan for Durant’s next deal (player option this year, and potentially next year as well), while Green is ticketed for free agency in 2020.
Accepting a pay cut will always be in play, but Thompson has already conceded enough on the court. Will he really surrender more on the business side? Probably. Maybe. We can’t be sure. The decision might be made for him before then, or this may be a non-issue. Like the Lakers, and every other team hoping to wedge in on his career-long marriage to the Warriors, we’ll just have to wait and see.