Signing Klay Thompson was a no-brainer for the Golden State Warriors. But, his expensive price tag comes with a dangerous risk for the future.
There was absolutely no scenario in which the Golden State Warriors neglected to offer Klay Thompson a max contract last summer. The five-time All-Star has gone above and beyond expectations and been a pivotal member of three championships. However, his hefty 5-year $189 million dollar contract could end up hurting the Warriors big time in the future.
Thompson is fresh off a torn ACL. In years prior, this injury was a career death sentence as most perimeter players could never fully recover from the damage this caused to their athleticism. Luckily, medicine has advanced enough to give us reassuring hope that Thompson will return to the floor by next season.
The looming question is: how much of Thompson will return? His lethal 3-point shot should remain intact. leg injuries don’t have a history of reducing a player’s ability to catch and shoot. This is great news, as Klay’s greatest strength is his pure stroke from deep.
But, what about the rest of what makes Thompson so great? His defense against opposing guards has been key to hiding Stephen Curry on this end of the floor. Will the former All-Defensive team member be able to lock up at a high rate with this injury? It doesn’t help that he is already entering his 30s. A natural decline was coming soon anyways. His knee injury might speed up that process.
The Warriors are slotted to pay Thompson almost $100 million dollars in the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons. This creates the potential for a dangerous few years in which Thompson may not be an elite player but will be making elite money.
We have seen how a lack of cap space can cribble a rebuilding franchise for years. While the Warriors don’t plan on rebuilding just yet, they could be left with no choice as each member of the big three enters the back half of their careers.
Like we said in the beginning, there was no chance the Dubs DIDN’T give Thompson this massive contract. He has done too much for this franchise not be compensated. Still, their loyalty could wind up costing them big if he isn’t able to fully recover.