Ranking 10 Free Agent destinations if Klay Thompson walks away from the Warriors

Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
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The Golden State Warriors have put off the inevitable for a long time.

They should have been done after the 2019 NBA Finals, when Kevin Durant left and Klay Thompson suffered consecutive season-ending injuries and missed 2.5 years. They really should have been done after the 2022 NBA Finals, with Thompson revving it back up enough to be a part of the ensemble cast around Stephen Curry that brought home a fourth title for this group.

The way the Warriors have flamed out in each of the last two seasons, however, points to the end of an era. Klay Thompson in particular has had two of the worst performances of his career in elimination games each of the past two years. His 0-for-10, 0-point thud of a game in the Play-In loss to the Sacramento Kings was particularly painful.

The question now before this franchise is whether they will continue to run it back with the trio of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, or whether that blowout loss in Sacramento was the end. Curry and Green are under contract for at least the next two seasons, but Klay is an unrestricted free agent this summer and could sign with another team. That 0-for-10 night could be his last in a Warriors uniform.

Klay Thompson will hopefully re-sign with the Warriors

The Warriors' major players have all publicly expressed that they want Klay Thompson back. Steve Kerr, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green are making it clear, at least publicly, that they want Klay back. But there has also been reporting that the organization and Thompson are not close on contract talks and that the Dubs' front office rubbed Klay "the wrong way" in their initial offers. For all that his emotions have driven his passion over the years, it's possible that they drive him away from the Warriors if the negotiations get heated in the coming months.

For those who think Thompson is absolutely returning, there is plenty of evidence to point to a likely new deal to stay in Golden State. The team's stars and coach want him back, he played much better down the stretch, and even if he walks there isn't a path to cap space waiting for them. On the other hand, Klay's body language during his exit interview press conference, noise in the rumor mill about the interest of other teams, and the disastrous way this season ended can all provide support for a Thompson exodus.

Let's discuss which teams could be in the mix to sign Klay Thompson should he decide to walk in free agency. We'll include all of the cap space teams that could make sense, as well as a few teams that have been directly linked to Klay over the last few months. We will rank these 10 teams according to who makes the most sense when you factor in their salary situation, Klay's basketball fit and their likelihood of pursuing him.

We begin in Texas, where a team has a lot of cap space and the next face of the NBA for Klay to pair up with.