6 Golden State Warriors who are as good as gone this summer

Decision time is quickly approaching for the Golden State Warriors, and these 6 players appear more likely than not to be playing elsewhere.
Chris Paul, Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Chris Paul, Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors / David Berding/GettyImages
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No. 1: Klay Thompson

Franchise legends are supposed to play their entire careers with one team. Kobe Bryant was always a Laker, Tim Duncan always a Spur, and the three key figures on the Golden State Warriors should remain with the franchise that drafted them. Four rings is a lot of hardware, and with Curry and Green locked up long-term, Klay Thompson deserves to receive his due.

At the same time, the Warriors are trying to win basketball games and maximize the remaining window that Stephen Curry has to compete for championships. Thompson, largely through no fault of his own, is not the same level of shot-creator and defender that he once was. He can still shoot and remains one of the league's premier high-volume gunners, but he is no longer the co-star he once was to Curry's brilliance.

For many the possibility that Klay would walk in free agency seemed far-fetched, but each new rumor and piece of reporting that comes out pushes things in that direction. The Warriors are publicly talking about shedding salary, other teams are interested in Thompson, and now the Splash Brother has unfollowed the Warriors on social media. Negotiation? Perhaps, but Thompson is an emotional guy. If he is setting his face toward another team, this could be a part of his process.

The Warriors would love to bring Thompson back, but they may need to decide between paying him what he wants (and restricting their own flexibility in the process) or squeezing him for a lower amount in order to set the rest of the roster up for success in adding pieces around Curry.

The Warriors and Thompson can negotiate as soon as the NBA Finals are over, so a new deal could be announced shortly. More likely, Thompson will follow through on recent reporting that he intends to test free agency. Impossibly, after 13 seasons and four rings and six conference championships, Klay Thompson could be wearing another jersey next season.

It's still very much up-in-the-air, but the momentum right now suggests that Klay Thompson is as good as gone from the Warriors this offseason.

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