Klay Thompson has been dipping and diving around the news but not for the reasons Warriors fans hope for. His benching in the recent games has raised a question about his place in the GSW system. With only Stephen Curry being off the docking list for the front office, Klay’s future seems to be elsewhere come summer.
With speculations growing thicker every day regarding his future with the San Francisco franchise, Klay Thompson himself has come out to clear the air or at least attempted to.
Klay Thompson self-evaluates his Warriors future
The 4-time NBA Championship winner and the Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson recently broke his silence about his future at the franchise. He expressed his desire to stay with the Warriors irrespective of the number of responsibilities given to him.
The veteran guard said, “There’s nothing wrong with that. I’ll be 35 next year. At 35, coming off the ACL and an Achilles [tear] and still have the ability to be a really good player. Maybe not the guy who scored 60 in three quarters and scored an NBA record 37 points in a quarter, but still a great threat out there. I’ve modeled my game after Reggie [Miller] and Ray [Allen], and those guys were incredibly effective until their late 30s. So I plan on kind of following that mold.”
His career-best was in 2016 when he scored 60 points in a game against the Pacers. He agreed that he might not be able to drop the same level of performance, but he will still be a considerable threat. With his contract coming to an end soon, this can be a smart move for the 2011 first-round draft pick to rethink and remodel his game in the same mold of two bonafide hoopers in Ray Allen and Reggie Miller.
Klay Thomson’s performance this season
Thompson has been with the Warriors since he was drafted in 2011, showing remarkable loyalty to the team. However, this season, his performance hasn’t been up to his usual standards.
In 48 games, he’s averaged 17.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists, which is below what’s expected from a player of his caliber. The Warriors currently sit in the 10th position in the Western Conference standings, and they’re leaning more on their younger players.
Earlier in 2019, Klay had picked up an ACL injury and was ruled out for the rest of the season. However, he made a remarkable comeback in 2022 and helped the Warriors win the NBA Championship.
This season, the Warriors have struggled when Thompson is on the court, being outscored by 1.3 points per 100 possessions, compared to when he’s on the bench, where they outscore opponents by 3.7 points. Sports analyst Brian Windhorst suggests this as the reason for Steve Kerr benching Thompson. With Draymond Green’s strong performance after returning from suspension and winning six of the last eight games, Thompson’s playing time has decreased.
Recently a video surfaced capturing Thompson’s frustration following his snub to the bench which sparked wild trade rumors ahead of the now-closed trade deadline.
With declining performance and reduced playing time, this could likely be Thompson’s final season with the Warriors. He turned down a 2-year contract extension worth $48 million before the season started but will now end up as a free agent if a new contract doesn’t come his way.