Klay Thompson

Windhorst identifies key component to Klay-Warriors negotiations

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The Warriors have a difficult decision to make this summer on Klay Thompson.

The five-time NBA All-Star will hit the market as an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career after he and Golden State were unable to come to terms on a contract extension this past season.

Golden State has been vocal about its desire to re-sign Thompson, but coming off a disappointing 2023-24 season, it's unclear exactly what the 34-year-old's value will be on the open market and what the Warriors will be comfortable paying in order to retain one of their franchise legends.

ESPN NBA analyst Brian Windhorst joined "Get Up" on Monday, where he discussed Thompson's contract and what he believes will be key to getting a deal done with the Warriors.

"I think the key here is, it's not just the amount of money, it's the amount of years," Windhorst said. "This is the same thing with Paul George. Kawhi Leonard took less of the max, but the key I think for Paul was he took three years, not the max which would be five. I think Paul George wants five, or at least four to be sure. Klay, he's going to have to take a pay cut, he's coming down.

"But how many years can he get? Andrew Wiggins took a pay cut but he got four years. Draymond [Green] took a pay cut but he got four years. That's the thing. I would not freak out, if I was a Warriors fan I would not overreact to this, but I do think the negotiation season has absolutely started."

Thompson taking a pay cut from his 2023-24 salary of $43.2 million seems like a foregone conclusion in many evaluator's eyes.

While the Warriors can begin contract negotiations with Thompson the day after the NBA Finals conclude, the free agency negotiating window for other teams opens on June 30 at 3 p.m. PST.

The length of his contract, however, might just be the hurdle both sides need to overcome to work out a deal.

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