Tim K. weighs in on big money Klay and what it means for Love
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Posted by New Warriors on 2014-07-09 18:49:43
Klay Thompson’s most interesting summer continues: He’s worth $16M a year now? What it means for the Warriors and for the Kevin Love talks
Posted on July 9, 2014 by Tim Kawakami
* Straight from today’s Merc website (MY VERSION)/
Klay Thompson, through no actual recent action of his own, just became one of the most interesting—and interested—men in the NBA world.
Thompson isn’t due to hit restricted free agency until next summer, and LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are this year’s current obsessions.
But Thompson’s market just exploded right before our eyes anyway.
Essentially, the Warriors’ three-year veteran just became a $16-million-a-year value, in a flash of other people’s contract agreements.
How nice for Thompson, right? He spends the first part of summer as the player Minnesota most wants—and the Warriors to this point will not surrender–in trade talks for Kevin Love.
And this week Thompson sees two other guys re-set the price for multi-dimensional young wing players in a boom-boom market.
Yes, it all could have some very significant repercussions for his Warriors situation and for the Warriors’ roster two or three years into the future.
Here’s what happened: Utah restricted free agent Gordon Hayward agreed to an offer sheet with Charlotte and Houston RFA Chandler Parsons agreed to an offer sheet with Dallas.
These are two players generally in Thompson’s experience/talent peer group (or below him), and certainly neither fits alongside Stephen Curry as comfortably as Thompson has for several seasons.
Or can defend Tony Parker and Chris Paul the way Thompson has.
And… Hayward got a “mini-max” $15.75-million average salary in his new deal while Parsons got a $15-million average, with Utah and Houston deciding whether to match those deals.
So what does it mean? The Warriors and Thompson can negotiate an extension this summer (it must be signed by Oct. 31 and if agreed to, wouldn’t start until the 2015-2016 season).
Now the parameters are all but locked in.
If Thompson and his agent were contemplating a $12 million average (still pricey!) before the Parsons and Hayward deals, that’s outdated now.
Post-Parsons/Hayward, Thompson’s next deal has to start at his maximum level, which is estimated to be slightly more than $15 million next year for a player of Thompson’s experience level.
Has to start there, and has to average about $16-17 million overall, unless Thompson’s career collapses, which it probably won’t.
And that raises a few issues…
Question: With Curry set at an $11.4 million average the next three seasons, how will he feel about Thompson making so much more?
Answer: Curry probably would be fine with it for a few years, since Curry understands he took a lesser deal two years ago when he had the recurring ankle issues.
Curry will get his monster money in a few years and he knows it.
Question: With the long-term commitments the Warriors already have made to Curry, Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and David Lee, can the franchise afford this kind of Thompson deal?
Answer: More and more, I’m hearing that the Warriors brass has game-planned for Thompson’s deal heading into the stratosphere starting in July 2015.
And now that Thompson’s market is set, in one way it simplifies the Warriors’ timeline.
They know Thompson probably won’t take anything less than the max. That’s a given now.
It’s not about putting pressure on Thompson to do it now or else risk losing out—he cannot take less than Hayward got, just cannot.
So the Warriors don’t have to do anything now.
If the Warriors just wait until Thompson hits restricted free agency next year, they can quickly give the mini-max deal to Thompson then.
Or they can let somebody else offer it to Thompson (for lesser annual raises) and then the Warriors can match it.
There is not much room for negotiation any more. It’s just timing. And that, for now, the Warriors still control.
Last question: Does Thompson’s ballooning long-term price make it more likely that the Warriors would be willing to put him into a Love deal?
Last answer: You’d initially think so.
How can they fit Love’s expected massive deal in with Thompson and all the rest, even if Lee deal goes to Minnesota in the projected trade?
Wouldn’t Thompson have to go, too?
But again, I’ve heard that the Warriors believe they don’t get into title contention with Love unless they keep Thompson, too.
I’m told the Warriors have done the spreadsheet work and believe Thompson can still be squeezed in.
Unsaid: I think the Warriors can fit Thompson’s long-term money into this… only if they can move either Lee’s or Iguodala’s contract before then.
And if Love comes on board, it’d take the off-loading of both Lee (in the trade) and Iguodala (at some point) to fit Thompson’s new market rate, I believe.
That’s a lot of pieces all put in motion without Klay Thompson doing much of anything, except watch his stock price go through the roof.
It’s not a bad way to spend a summer.
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