Golden State Warriors: ESPN report adds further worry to Klay Thompson's form and future

Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns
Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Golden State Warriors' veteran Klay Thompson has had a slow start to the season, with the storyline surrounding his form only heightened by his contractual status as a potentially soon-to-be free agent.

Thompson and the Warriors are yet to come to terms on a new contract extension, having entered the final season of a five-year, $189.9 million he signed in 2019. The shooting guard's current production isn't helping matters, with Thompson averaging just 15.3 points on 40.4% shooting this season.

ESPN's Kendra Andrews has stated that "contract negotiations are weighing on" Golden State Warriors' guard Klay Thompson.

Everything surrounding Thompson appears to be magnified right now, including both his on-court and off-court demeanour. The five-time All-Star had a heated exchange with The Athletic's Tim Kawakami in a press conference on Monday.

Kawakami made reference to head coach Steve Kerr's patience with the starting lineup, to which Thompson hastily responded, "you want me to bench me?" The exchange quickly circulated around social media, leading to varying responses among fans.

In a detailed report on the Warriors on Tuesday, ESPN's Kendra Andrews cited some of Thompson's attitude on the floor and during timeouts, as well as citing sources in making a strong statement on the impact of contract discussions.

""His contract negotiations are weighing on him, sources told ESPN, and he appears to be noticeably more frustrated during games. He sometimes sits on the end of the bench by himself during timeouts, or slaps his head after taking a bad shot," Andrews wrote."

That's a big declaration, but also not a surprising one for Warrior fans who've consistently watched Thompson so far this season. The biggest criticism of him has been the shot selection and decision-making, something surely impacted by his desire to return to his best and garner a big new deal as a result.

While there remains a distinct gap between how the Warriors value Thompson from a financial standpoint and who he thinks he can return to as a player, then a contract agreement is unlikely to be forthcoming. It's far from panic stations just yet, but the closer to the offseason and free agency this goes, the more fans may have to consider a Golden State future where Thompson isn't present.