Klay Thompson will take pay cut to keep Warriors together

By @saihoops on
Golden State Warriors, Klay Thompson
Jun 1, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) is defended by Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith (5) in the second half of the 2017 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. USA TODAY Sports / Kyle Terada

Klay Thompson, a member of Golden State Warriors' All-Star foursome, is willing to take a pay cut in 2019 to ensure the Bay Area team keeps its core intact. In 2019, Golden State could be forced to choose between Thompson and Draymond Green, the two All-Stars that will be potentially due for supermax contracts.

While Thompson becomes a free agent in 2019, Green hits the market a year later. With star point guard Stephen Curry signed through for another five seasons, the Warriors front office would also have to give Kevin Durant a significant payday at some stage.

Though the NBA's new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) allows Golden State to retain all four of their All-Stars, by paying a hefty luxury tax bill, Thompson or Green could ahve aspirations to play a more significant role elsewhere. Several analysts believe Thompson and Green have been compromised since Durant's arrival in the Bay Area. Prior to Durant's arrival, Thompson was the team's No. 2 option.

Klay Thompson won’t take the Kevin Durant paycut

This offseason, Durant took a US$9 million (AU$11.5 million) pay cut to allow the team to re-sign veterans Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, David West and Zaza Pachulia. Thompson, however, is opposed to the idea of taking a significant discount.

"I probably could, yeah. That (as much as Kevin Durant) much? I don't know. I don't make as much as Kevin off the court. If it's a few million ... It's a blessing whatever contract I sign. I would definitely consider it cause I don't want to lose anybody," Thompson told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.

In August, Thompson told The Athletic that he had little reason to walk out on the Warriors. "We got such a good thing going, I just don't want to leave yet. It's rare in the NBA to have a team that can win with the culture we created. It's hard to put a price on it. When that conversation does come up though… man, it's so far away. What are we talking about? So far."

Klay Thompson, the greatest catch-and-shoot exponent in the NBA, was drafted No. 11 overall by the Golden State Warriors in 2011. Since then, Thompson has made three All-Star teams and two All-NBA teams besides helping Golden State capture two championships. In 2015, he signed a four-year contract worth US$69 million (AU$87 million) to stay in Oakland.