Would rivals disdain for Warriors really extend to Klay Thompson's free agency?

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

Klay Thompson's future at the Golden State Warriors continues to garner plenty of discussion, with pundits beginning to have their say on what they think the veteran sharpshooter will do in free agency.

The 34-year-old remains extension eligible, but with no new deal having been agreed upon since the offseason, it now appears a fait accompli that Thompson will explore his options in free agency.

Would a rival team really try and lure Klay Thompson in free agency just to ensure he's no longer with the Golden State Warriors?

Given his stature as one of the franchise's greatest ever players, there's a general consensus that Thompson and the Warriors will eventually commit to a new contract. The five-time All-Star has always reiterated his desire to remain at the franchise, even since his much discussed move to the bench in recent weeks.

However, former Golden State rival Channing Frye believes this will be Thompson's last season with the team, suggesting on Fanduel's Run It Back that another team may throw money at him just to lure him away from the Warriors.

"I think there's a team that is going to pay him crazy, just to not be on the Warriors...If Klay doesn't have a crazy playoff run, I could see someone else saying, 'hey we'll start you, you've got 35-40 minutes a night on a good playoff team'. I could see someone throwing some money at him. "

Channing Frye

Would a rival team really throw a 'crazy' offer to Thompson purely to get him away from The Bay? While the Warriors have been the envy of the league with four championships in the past decade, it's hard to see another team giving the veteran guard an irresponsible contract just to spite the franchise.

Furthermore, why would a team offer a big contract and the promise of heavy minutes should Thompson struggle again in the playoffs? That doesn't appear like the most sensible play for a contending team hoping to take the next step.

Right now Thompson appears more than comfortable in a bench role, having averaged 18.4 points on 44.1% three-point shooting over the last seven games. Golden State are also 6-1 during that period and hold a 13-3 across their last 16 games.

Thompson reportedly turned down a two-year, $48 million extension from the Warriors prior to the season, though that now appears like an appropriate number given his form hasn't quite met expectations since.