Since being drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 2011, Klay Thompson has been one of the best guards in the NBA.
The 30-year-old has averaged 19.5 points per game, while shooting 41.9% from deep over his nine seasons with the Dubs. Thompson was a huge part of three NBA championship teams, and is a two-time third-team All-NBA selection.
When Thompson tore his ACL in Game 6 of last year’s NBA Finals, we knew he would miss all of the 2019-20 season. Still, general manager Bob Myers rewarded Klay with a five-year $190 million dollar deal in July of 2019.
The folks over at The Athletic shared thoughts on how they would run the Warriors, and Seth Partnow brought up Thompson’s new deal:
“In a similar vein, our colleague John Hollinger asked me recently if Thompson belongs in the discussion for worst contract in the league. If we’re talking about players losing a step, a 30-year old coming off an ACL reconstruction has to be a candidate.”
Partnow’s colleague and salary cap expert Danny Leroux had this to say:
“It is true that there has been significantly more concern about how former Warrior Durant will recover from his serious injury, though some of that stems from the difference between a ruptured Achilles and a torn ACL. Still, Thompson not making it all the way back would create major problems for the team’s chances of contention and put even more on his teammates ...”
It won’t be easy for Thompson to get back to the level he was playing at before the injury. With the NBA aiming for a December start to the 2020-21 season, it means Thompson will not have had any game action for nearly 18 months.
ACL injuries aren’t what they used to be, thanks to advances in the medical field, but it will take Thompson some time to knock off the rust. Klay’s shooting should be fine, but his defense might not be what it was when he returns.
The five-time NBA All-Star made just under $33 million while rehabbing this season, and his annual salary will increase each year. Thompson will be paid just over $43 million in the final year of his deal, when he turns 34 during the 2023-24 season.
There are plenty of bad contracts in the NBA, and even if Thompson plays a notch below, he he provides more value than players like John Wall, Al Horford and Tobias Harris, who each make upward of $26 million.
While I can see Thompson’s production decline in his first season back, I think he will be close to normal again by the 2021-22 season. Klay’s game should age just fine, thanks to his shooting ability, and basketball IQ.
How do you feel about Hollinger suggesting Thompson may have one of the worst contracts in the NBA?
On to some more links:
Who will be some of the young Dubs’ players that will step up next season? The SF Chronicle’s Connor Letouraneau wrote a nice piece on guard Ky Bowman.
The Steph-Kevin Durant led Warriors teams don’t get enough respect. One former NBA player says the 2000-02 Los Angeles Lakers were a more dominant squad than the Dubs. (h/t NBC Bay Area’s Josh Schrock.)
If you need your Warriors basketball fix, the organization is giving you an option. The Dub’s will play some of the biggest games from the 73-win season on their Facebook page.
Golden State will have some options to help bolster their bench going into next season. Fansided’s Justin Fried says some veteran free agents are already doing their homework on a potential move to the Bay Area.