Klay Thompson is the big name Golden State Warriors player now up for a contract extension, with the 33-year-old entering the final season of a five-year, $189.9 million deal he signed with the franchise in 2019.
While the Warriors and Thompson have no plans of a separation, there’s an understanding that the five-time All-Star will have to take a paycut to remain with the franchise long-term. How significant that pay cut is will undoubtedly be the key sticking point.
Klay Thompson’s injury history could provide an awkward factor in negotiations around a new contract with the Golden State Warriors.
Speaking on the ‘Warriors Plus Minus’ podcast with colleagues Marcus Thompson and Anthony Slater, The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami referred to Thompson’s injury history over the course of his current deal as a potential factor in negotiations.
"“$68 million not to play for two seasons. And then you can even go into half of the next one. That is something, I tell you it’s something on the Warriors minds”, Kawakami said."
Golden State signed Thompson shortly after he devastatingly tore his ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 Finals. Preparing for a return ahead of the 2020-21 season, the four-time NBA champion then tore his achilles during an offseason workout. He would miss two-and-a-half seasons before returning in front of an adoring home crowd in January 2022.
Slater played devil’s advocate in suggesting Thompson’s camp could easily point towards the financial benefit the franchise have enjoyed over his 12-year career, but Kawakami reiterated the potential Warrior perspective.
"“It’s a lot of money paid for somebody who was hurt when we signed him. He was hurt for the year when we signed him”."
Even if it’s a legitimate and understandable stance to take, you’d would have to imagine it could cause an awkward situation if the Warriors try to use Thompson’s injury history as a means to sign him to a lesser deal. Slater added an extension “might happen”, otherwise Thompson would enter free agency as he did in 2019, and as Draymond Green did this past offseason.