Warriors must enter legacy-preserving mode after damning new Klay Thompson report

Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings - Play-In Tournament
Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings - Play-In Tournament / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The relationship between the Golden State Warriors and Klay Thompson may have hit it's lowest point in what's becoming a concerning state of affairs heading into free agency.

Thompson has remained extension eligible for the entire season, yet there's been no new deal forthcoming for the five-time All-Star. Now, a new report has painted a picture of just how dire things are getting.

There is reportedly no offer on the table from the Golden State Warriors to retain free agent and franchise legend Klay Thompson

The Athletic's Anthony Slater stated on Saturday that "nothing is currently on the table", a surprising development with just over a week until Thompson and his management can officially begin negotations with rival teams.

"Talks are essentially frozen. With free agency now less than 10 days away, Thompson’s exit from the only franchise he has ever known feels closer and more probable than ever before."

Anthony Slater

The only shadow of light for Golden State is that Slater has reiterated that Thompson and the Orlando Magic are not close to a deal, with Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer reporting on Friday that young Eastern Conference team are only willing to offer a two-year deal to prospective free agents.

There's long been a presumption that so long as the Warriors eventually came to the table with a respectable deal in the realm of rival offers, that Thompson would return to the franchise for a 14th year and beyond.

But Slater reports that Thompson could leave regardless, further proving that this is just as much about happiness as it is the financial element. The idea that the 34-year-old isn't happy in the Bay though is a sad concept for fans to consider -- this is one of the franchise's greatest ever players who has lived, developed and built the most successful decade in Golden State's history.

The Warriors must go into legacy-preserving mode. That doesn't mean they have to retain Thompson at all costs, but they have to ensure that the veteran sharpshooter doesn't leave despising ownership, the front office and key parts of the franchise in general.

If Thompson does leave as is becoming increasingly likely, there will be countless times in the future where his success will be further celebrated. There has to be an open door for him to return, feel comfortable, and share nothing but love for everything he and the Warriors have accomplished together. These free agency conversations aren't just about the remainder of Thompson's playing career, but protecting his historical standing and how he's remembered for decades to come.