Klay Thompson Predicted to Leave Warriors for $82 Million Offer

Klay Thompson, Warriors

Getty Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors are staring down the barrel at the end of an era in the coming weeks, as the NBA Finals draws toward a close and offseason business begins.

Among the more likely, and intensely covered, possibilities is that Klay Thompson will depart the Bay Area following a 13-year career with the Dubs that includes six trips to the Finals, five All-Star appearances and four championship rings.

Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report predicted on Friday, June 14, that Thompson will ultimately ink a three-year deal worth nearly $82 million in total with the Orlando Magic — a playoff team in the Eastern Conference last season who fell in the first round to the Cleveland Cavaliers after an epic seven-game series.

The Golden State Warriors may prioritize financial sanity this offseason, ending the Splash Brothers era with Klay Thompson as a free agent. The Warriors can pay whatever they want to retain him, but that may mean committing to taxes, aprons and limited flexibility.

Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic took a leap forward this season with a solid (but short) playoff run. The team is flush with cap room and desperate for shooting. Thompson, 34, is a legendary shooter, a big name and an excellent fit for an Orlando squad that defends well but needs floor spacing in the worst way.

Klay Thompson’s Exit Would Offer Warriors Huge Salary Cap Relief

Warriors star Klay Thompson

Getty Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.

Thompson earned north of $43 million in the final season of his most recent five-year deal with the Warriors. Pincus didn’t specify how much he believes Golden State is willing to offer Thompson to return, though he said straight away that the Warriors wouldn’t match the $82 million figure he’s predicting the Magic will bring to the table.

In any case, Thompson’s departure takes $43 million off of last year’s books and would keep something in the range of $20-$25 million off the 2024-25 cap sheet via a new offer. Coupled with the likely departure of veteran point guard Chris Paul, which the Dubs can facilitate by releasing him in the next couple of weeks and trimming $30 million in the process, the Warriors could find themselves with a significantly more affordable roster next season.

Head coach Steve Kerr already replaced Thompson in the starting lineup with rookie Brandin Podziemski for a stretch last year, indicating the young guard’s readiness to step into a more prominent role alongside Stephen Curry during his sophomore season.

Warriors Can Clear Enough Space This Summer to Get in Game for Star Players Via Trade

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors.

GettyKevin Durant (left), formerly of the Golden State Warriors, and Stephen Curry (right).

If the Warriors are comfortable with that backcourt pairing and with second-year player Trayce Jackson-Davis stepping into a full-time starting role in place of Kevon Looney, who is also a good bet to play elsewhere in 2024-25, the team can turn its attention toward a third star via the trade market.

Several names could be available, and some of the biggest mentioned as possible targets for Golden State are Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat and Kevin Durant of the Phoenix Suns. Neither man will be a free agent this summer, meaning their teams must prove willing to entertain a trade offer before any conversations can get truly serious.

A level below aging superstars like Butler and Durant is a class that includes the likes of Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz. The former All-Star is a versatile big man who can snipe from downtown and has averaged 24.5 points per game over the past two seasons.

Read More