Troubling report suggests Warriors may overpay to keep franchise legend

New Orleans Pelicans v Golden State Warriors
New Orleans Pelicans v Golden State Warriors / Kavin Mistry/GettyImages

With over two months until the start of NBA free agency, there will plenty of speculation on the future of Klay Thompson following the conclusion of the Golden State Warriors' season earlier in the week.

The Warriors can still sign the 34-year-old to an extension prior to free agency, yet that seems unlikely given Thompson's management and the franchise have not had substantive talks for months according to ESPN's Zach Lowe.

Jrue Holiday's recent extension may mean the Golden State Warriors need to fork out in excess of $100 million to retain Klay Thompson

More troubling for Golden State fans was Lowe's report that both Thompson and the franchise "took note" of the significant recent contract extension for Boston Celtics' guard Jrue Holiday.

"Klay is going to draw interest around the league. He’s gonna want a fair salary. I can tell you for sure, both sides took note of that Jrue Holiday extension with the Celtics four years, $135 million."

Zach Lowe

A four-year, $135 million contract is considerably different to the shorter two-year deal that's previously been floated for Thompson, with that length to align with veteran teammates Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, along with head coach Steve Kerr.

Holiday's average salary of nearly $34 million is also excessive for Thompson, with many forecasting a deal of $20-25 million annually for the five-time All-Star. The reality is that anything close to, or more than $100 million for Thompson would be a gross overpay despite his strong finish to the season.

Holiday remains a multi-faceted guard who's one of the league's best defenders, shot a career-high 42.9% from three-point range this season, and averaged 5.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. He also plays for the league's best regular season team who will likely bear the financial fruits of a deep playoff run, whereas Warrior General Manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. recently stated it was unreasonable for Golden State to pay $400 million for a non-playoff team.

With his two major leg injuries having hampered his once elite defensive capability, Thompson has become reliant on his shooting which became painfully apparent on Tuesday when he finished 0-of-10 against the Sacramento Kings.

Thompson's value will ultimately be seen by what the market is willing to pay, meaning a $100 million contract could still be on the cards if a young team like the Orlando Magic are prepared to pay up for a championship-proven veteran.