5 reasons why the Warriors will likely force Klay Thompson to take a pay cut

Mary Raleigh

Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors is entering the final year of his contract. Thompson is set to earn $43.2 million this coming season and will be looking to sign the last big deal of his NBA career. However, the Warriors are likely not going to offer him a max contract.Warriors' Klay Thompson Projected to Take Monster Pay Cut | Heavy.com

According to ESPN’s Ramon Shelburne, the Warriors and Thompson have begun discussing a potential extension. It’s in the early stages and there’s no rush on both sides about finalizing a deal. Thompson had a solid regular season but he was terrible in the playoffs.

“My understanding is that they have opened contract extension talks with Klay Thompson,” Shelburne said on ‘The Lowe Post’ podcast. “This is a slow process. This idea that he’s been eligible for a while and they haven’t done anything. … They’ve exchanged proposals. There’s no hurry to these discussions. The optionality goes both ways.”

5 reasons why Klay Thompson will take a pay cut for his next contract with the Golden State Warriors

Klay Thompson has been a pillar of the Golden State Warriors’ success over the past decade. Thompson’s partnership with Steph Curry has resulted in four NBA championships. If he didn’t suffer two major injuries in 2019 and 2020, he definitely could have been up for a max contract.

However, Thompson is no longer the player he used to be, especially on defense. He is still a capable scorer and an important part of Steve Kerr’s offense. With Curry, as well as Draymond Green, signed for years to come, the Warriors are expected to retain their “Big 3” core.

On that note, here are five reasons why Thompson will likely agree on a contract extension with the Warriors

#5 Thompson is no longer a two-way player

Before tearing his ACL and rupturing his Achilles tendon, Klay Thompson was one of the best two-way players in the NBA. Thompson can explode on offense while making life a living hell for their opponent’s best perimeter defender.

However, those two major injuries robbed Thompson of his lateral quickness to defend the best perimeter players in the league. One example of Thompson’s diminishing defensive ability was when Devin Booker cooked him last season for 34 points.

If Thompson didn’t suffer those two injuries, there’s no debate that the Warriors were going to offer him a max contract.

#4 Draymond Green took a pay cut

Many people thought that Draymond Green would sign a max contract in free agency and leave the Golden State Warriors. However, Green re-signed with the Warriors and took a pay cut to help extend the franchise’s championship window.

If Green can leave some money on the table, Klay Thompson can certainly do it for the Warriors. With an estimated career earnings of $222.9 million, Thompson would not hurt his pockets if he took a pay cut to help prolong the Warriors’ dynasty for a few more years.

#3 Taking a pay cut helps the Warriors move forward

One of the perks for Golden State, if Klay Thompson signs a discounted extension, is the ability to build a proper championship roster. Thompson’s next contract could mirror what Draymond Green received this summer.

With Chris Paul’s salary for the 2024-25 season non-guaranteed, the Warriors will have some money to build their depth and add role players. One of the reasons why Golden State pulled off the 2022 NBA championship was the quality of their bench.

#2 Adding ring No. 5

The Warriors proved that their dynasty was not over when they won the 2022 NBA championship. As mentioned above, Golden State won that title on the back of solid squad depth, as well as the greatness of Steph Curry.

If the Warriors want to build another contending team in the next few years, Thompson will have to agree to take a pay cut. If doing that will lead to a fifth ring, Thompson would likely have no problem with it.

#1 Perfect ending to the ‘Big 3’ era

Steph Curry has a contract until the 2025-26 NBA season while Draymond Green has a player option following that same season. If Curry decides to retire after that campaign, Green could opt out and end his career elsewhere. If Curry signs an extension, Green could opt-in and finish his career alongside him.

Since they are the Warriors’ “Big 3,” Klay Thompson definitely deserves the same treatment whether it’s a three-year or a four-year extension. With all the things they accomplished in the Bay Area, they deserve to go out together if that’s what they want.

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