Top NewsKlay Thompson, Warriors' talks freeze as free agency looms:...

Klay Thompson, Warriors’ talks freeze as free agency looms: Sources


Klay Thompson is currently not expecting a less than desirable offer from the Golden State Warriors. Despite the wide-open negotiating window, there is no one-year, two-year or three-year deal on the table. Because according to league sources, nothing is on the table right now. There has been no constructive discussion between the Warriors and Thompson or his representatives.

Talks are basically muted. With free agency now less than 10 days away, Thompson’s exit from the only franchise he’s ever known feels closer and more likely than ever.

According to league sources, the Warriors have outwardly maintained their desire to bring Thompson back for the right price and in the right role. They are actively looking for avenues for major upgrades, using Chris Paul’s non-guaranteed $30 million contract as a flexibility tool. According to league sources, there have been talks with Ball about pushing that guarantee date from June 28 to July, if necessary, which would have asked Thompson to wait longer.

If the Warriors can land a big-name, high-salaried player, that could significantly affect what they can offer Thompson, duck a second suit and lower the line altogether. This calculated business approach — given the Warriors’ desperate need to improve an underserved roster that’s deserving — may be chilling for a franchise legend like Thompson, who won four titles in his 13 seasons with the Warriors but was pushed far down the stretch. Current offseason priority list.

Part of the Warriors’ calculus seems to be that Thompson can find a sluggish free agent market and eventually return at a bargain rate. Controlling owner Joe Lacob, second-year general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. and vice president Kirk Lacob pull the levers. Early indications are that that reading of the market will prove correct. There are often short-term deals for experienced free agents, which led to Malik Monk returning to Sacramento on a four-year, $78 million contract.

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Despite some initial mutual interest, according to league sources, there is no traction between Thompson and the Orlando Magic. Other cap space teams and some long-term offers are expected to be on the table in a market that can always move in unpredictable directions. As always, Thompson’s best offers ended up being smaller in money and lower than predicted or expected over the years, leading to an inevitable reunification with the Warriors at a rate that few would be comfortable with.

But it is not necessary. Even if the Warriors eventually approach Thompson with a competitive offer, matching or exceeding the money and years, Thompson will likely decide to leave regardless, seeking a fresh start in a different environment, according to league sources. From some built-up friction from the previous couple seasons.

Before last season, the Warriors and Thompson discussed the idea of ​​an extension. Our sources reported that talks with Shams Sarania were in the two-year, $48 million range. Nothing has come close.

Some other quick buzz: Kevon Looney, drafted in 2015, has been a member of the Warriors for nearly nine years. His tenure is likely to continue next week. Only $3 million of Looney’s $8 million is currently guaranteed for next season. Another $5 million in guarantees on Monday raised the possibility of his release.

But that’s not the Warriors’ current plan, according to league sources. They are expected to offer Looney’s remaining $8 million in contract guarantees, keeping him in their current plans, though they will eventually use his salary to help complete an offseason trade.

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Looney is still valued as a leader in the locker room and one of Steve Kerr’s favorite players, a voice he relies on in tense times but also a center he trusts on the floor. Looney was pushed out of the rotation midway through by rookie Trace Jackson-Davis — and will enter next season behind Jackson-Davis on the depth chart — but Looney returned to the rotation in April and appeared in their play-in tournament loss. In Sacramento, Tomandas guards Sabonis for key stretches.

If the Warriors release Looney and replace him with a minimum veteran center, they won’t save much salary or taxes. There has been no talk of Looney’s release and re-reporting, as he is expected to field interest on the open market from several contenders and explore those options. For now, Looney remains in the Warriors program as he approaches a decade with the franchise.

Required reading

(Photo by Thompson: Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

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