The Golden State Warriors made a smart—but altogether totally expected—decision last week to pick up their team option on Klay Thompson’s contract. He’s now officially guaranteed about $3.2 million in 2013-14. The move was a no-brainer, as Thompson has followed up on a dynamite second half last year with a terrific summer league and preseason performance.
He’s proved himself to be a hard worker with a higher-than-expected ceiling, relative to his slot in the 2011 NBA draft. So it’s definitely a plus to have him locked up.
But how does the commitment to Thompson fit into the Warriors’ overall salary cap picture down the road? In short, quite nicely.
As it stands right now, the Warriors’ only player under contract for the 2014-15 season (the year after next) is David Lee, albeit for a cool $15.5 million. Assuming the Warriors also pick up options on Harrison Barnes, Thompson again and Festus Ezeli, the Dubs will have just about $23 million in commitments in two years. That’ll put them in a nice position to go after free agents, or retain guys they’ve deemed worthy of keeping around.
Of course, a potential Stephen Curry contract extension muddies the waters a bit, but Andris Biedrins will be off the books after next year, and it’s highly likely that both Brandon Rush and Carl Landry won’t exercise their player options after this season, making them both unrestricted free agents.
So, the cap situation is a little unpleasant next year, as Biedrins and Richard Jefferson will still be eating up over $20 million. But down the road, the Warriors will almost certainly have some money to throw around. Good times.