Thu. Jul 25th, 2024


The Golden State Warriors are preparing to lose four-time NBA champion Klay Thompson in free agency, an expected parting of ways between a legendary dynasty and one of its legacy players, league sources told The Athletic.

Thompson and the Warriors have had close to no communication since the negotiating period opened for incumbent free agents nearly two weeks ago and no offer has been made, team and league sources said. The Warriors, after other business, have wanted to circle back and negotiate with Thompson. But he isn’t expected to be there waiting as a willing secondary priority in their summer plan, with his side feeling that the Warriors’ interest in a reunion has been disingenuous. The five-time All-Star guard is determined to find a new home elsewhere for his 14th NBA season and beyond, with both sides believing their 13-year run together is over, league sources said.

The Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers and Dallas Mavericks are expected to be among strong suitors for Thompson, according to league sources. Multiple teams with salary cap space are expected to show interest in Thompson as well. Through the Tim Hardaway Jr. salary dump, the Mavericks have already generated enough room to offer the full projected $12.9 million midlevel on the market. The Lakers have the ability to generate the same, depending on where LeBron James’ next deal lands and other business.

Golden State is operating in the marketplace as a full nontaxpayer midlevel exception team for the first time in approximately a decade due to the anticipated departure of Thompson and the potential departure of Chris Paul’s $30 million non-guaranteed deal, league sources said, which sheds $73.2 million from its books.

The Warriors are open to participating in a sign-and-trade with Thompson to aid in his earning potential, those sources said.

This split is a major stunner across the league, given the deep history between the Warriors and Thompson, but it’s been trending this direction for a couple seasons, as Thompson’s extension talks stalled, his role shifted, the team failed to make the playoffs, the Warriors drafted (Moses Moody, Brandin Podziemski) and extended (Jordan Poole) possible replacements under him and he never felt reciprocated love from management about his firm place in the franchise’s plans, league sources said.

That continued into this summer. The Warriors maintained an outward desire to keep Thompson as part of the core, but they’ve made it clear it’d have to come at the right price, in the right role and he’d have to wait for the right time.

In a desperate search to upgrade the talent of an underperforming supporting cast around Stephen Curry, they had spent the last couple of weeks actively exploring the trade market, including an improbable run at free-agent-to-be Paul George, a pursuit the team knows is now dead.

Thompson, feeling the cold wind blowing from the only franchise he’s ever known, reciprocated in kind, limiting communication and planning for an NBA future outside the Bay Area.

Required reading

(Photo: Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)




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#Warriors #preparing #lose #Klay #Thompson #free #agency #Sources

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