Klay Thompson's free agency expected to impact contract extension for Warriors' wing

New Orleans Pelicans v Golden State Warriors
New Orleans Pelicans v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Klay Thompson's impending free agency is set to be a pivotal moment for the Golden State Warriors, with the potential of impacting the franchise's future well beyond the next few seasons.

Whether he re-signs or seeks greener pastures elsewhere, Thompson's decision will reverberate around the Warrior roster as the franchise seeks to improve upon their disappointing 10th-placed finish in the Western Conference.

Moses Moody may be the player most impacted by Klay Thompson's decision to stay at or leave the Golden State Warriors

A Thompson re-signing would be evidence of the Warriors wishing to push ahead with their veteran group, while his departure would leave a notable hole next to Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. However, it's Golden State's young players who are set to be most impacted, and most notably young wing Moses Moody.

Moody's three years in the league have seen a wave of varying fortunes, having spent periods out of Steve Kerr's rotation while also seeing crucial minutes in big playoff games. It's still difficult to evaluate where the 21-year-old is at in the wake of his third season, though it's likely we'll find out should Thompson move on.

The absence of the five-time All-Star would leave a significant opening that Moody could fill -- he's arguably the most like-for-like replacement the Warriors have on their roster. At the very least he should garner 20+ minutes per game for the first time in his career, with the potential of even elevating into a starting role depending on what happens over the remainder of the offseason.

Complicating matters is the fact that Moody himself is extension eligible, which is also likely to be influenced by Thompson's decision. According to ESPN's Bobby Marks, Moody could be in line for a $13-14 million deal per season, yet he could also forego extension talks should Thompson depart.

"The Warriors were 28-18 when Moody played more than 15 minutes this season. An extension for Moody should be in the $13-14 million range. However, if Thompson leaves in free agency, Moody is best served to play out the season, considering his role will expand."

Bobby Marks

Can Moody still be a player that develops into a 10-year player for the Warriors? Perhaps we'll only find out if Thompson leaves, hence why this free agency decision will be far more influential than just the years on the contract.