Looking for their third NBA title in four years, most people don’t even remember when the Golden State Warriors were a true laughingstock around the Association.
It wasn’t too long ago when a successful season was defined by 30-plus wins and a player not chocking his head coach. To a new generation of basketball fans, that’s ancient history. To some of the players still on the Warriors, it was just yesterday.
Now in his seventh season with the team, All-Star Klay Thompson knows what it took to build this juggernaut. He’s also making sure people know that’s not lost on him. In doing so, Klay is doubling down on his stance that he wants to remain a Warrior for life.
“I was part of building this culture. It wouldn’t be leaving everything I worked for behind, but it would be a whole new start,” Thompson told Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher. “I was one of the pioneers of this. I’m one of the longest-tenured players here besides Steph, so I’m very prideful of the turnaround the Warriors have made. Just because I’m not the face of the franchise doesn’t mean I’m not recognized for it.”
This all stems from suggestions that Golden State might indeed look to move one of the players from its core for another superstar, say, New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis. It also stems from the idea that Thompson himself would like to be the face of a franchise. That’s not a possibility with former MVPs Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry in Oakland.
Despite all of this, Klay has continually indicated he wants to be with the Warriors over the long term. It’s something his father, All-Time Los Angeles Lakers great Mychal Thompson, has also said publicly.
As it relates to Thompson’s current stance, he couldn’t be more clear.
“Real fans and the people in the organization and my peers around the league, they see the work I’ve put in and realize I’ve been a huge component to the success here for the last five, six, seven years, so I have an identity here,” the sharpshooter continued. “It would be hard for me to envision going anywhere else.”
In the midst of a playoff run that has seen him average nearly 20 points per game on 40 percent shooting from distance, Thompson has just one more year remaining on his contract. He’s slated to earn a max deal in the summer of 2019. That’s if Thompson decides that a max contract is more valuable to him than remaining with the Warriors.
After extending Stephen Curry last summer, the Warriors are likely to hand Durant a max contract this coming July. That’s led to speculation that the team might in fact look to trade Thompson. If this summer comes and goes without Thompson being extended, we will certainly hear more rumors about his future in Oakland. But if it were up to Klay himself, he wouldn’t go anywhere else.