The rest of the NBA has begun anxiously counting down the days until this Golden State Warriors team as currently constructed comes unglued.
The restraints of the salary cap system within the league make it increasingly difficult for teams to keep multiple high-priced players together.
The conventional wisdom around the league was that Klay Thompson was most likely to be the first member of The Big 4 to leave.
The logic was that Thompson would grow tired of being known as the second Splash Brother and would want to be the marquee player on another squad.
It seems that this theory might have just been wishful thinking all along. There was never any concrete evidence to support it.
It was based purely on the idea that a player of Thompson’s caliber would eventually want to be “the man” somewhere else after years of being a co-pilot.
Thompson would be content with multiple championships and seemingly make the decision to leave in an effort to try to bolster his legacy.
Could he himself as the alpha dog lead another team to a championship? Or would he always be viewed as a successful sidekick?
If he did decide to stay with the Warriors and play alongside other superstars, people pointed out that he’d always have the lingering “what ifs…” about whether he could have been as successful elsewhere. The news coming in is that the worries about Thompson leaving might have been overblown.
Marcus Thompson of The Athletic has a great story about how the Warriors and Thompson have been discussing a contract extension.
If an agreement is eventually reached this offseason, Thompson would not hit free agency for up to another five seasons.
Essentially the Warriors could have Thompson playing for the organization through age 33, and Thompson seems very receptive to the idea.
Thompson would be forfeiting the maximum amount of money he could make if he signs the extension, and it would also save the Warriors money in luxury tax penalties.
It’s impossible to put a price on happiness and comfort. From all indications, Thompson loves playing for this franchise and loves his teammates. He has a great thing going here from that perspective.
None of the superstars on this team have gigantic egos that would ever threaten team chemistry or the cohesiveness of the locker room. Fans just aren’t accustomed to successful athletes being as selfless as these players on the Warriors seem to be.
Joe Lacob has indicated in the past that he’s willing to spend however much money necessary to keep this lineup together. Logistically it’s going to take these guys taking team-friendly deals to make it easier to keep other key pieces on the payroll.
Thompson is sacrificing future earnings if he signs an extension this offseason, but money isn’t everything. What the Warriors have in terms of talent is truly spectacular and does not come around very often in this league.
Thompson most definitely realizes this, and when coupled with how much fun these players have together, the allure to remain with this organization is extremely powerful.