Klay Thompson

Why Sharpe proclaims Warriors didn't wrong Klay in free agency

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It is the end of an era for the Warriors dynasty, as Klay Thompson is leaving the Bay to join the Dallas Mavericks in a new chapter of his well-decorated NBA career.

Thompson is signing with Dallas on a three-year, $50 million contract with a player option, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported, citing sources. Golden State reportedly offered Thompson a two-year deal before the 2023-24 season and then again in the offseason before free agency began.

But the offer seemingly wasn't what Thompson was looking for, and as disappointing as it might be to watch a franchise icon walk away, ESPN analyst Shannon Sharpe doesn't fault the Warriors for the outcome.

"If you go back and look at it: Jordan Poole had a career year when his contract was up. They paid him. Draymond [Green] played well. They paid him. This is statistically Klay's worst year and it happened to be in a contract year," Sharpe said Monday on "First Take." "They didn't wrong him. Think about what Klay has meant. I already paid you for what you meant. Remember I gave you that four-year, $140 million [contract] and two of those years you missed with a ruptured Achilles and an ACL? I paid you for that. I offered you two years, $48 million at the beginning of the season. You said no. You bet on yourself.

"... They don't owe Klay. They paid Klay for that. I'm giving you what I believe you can do moving forward. I've already paid you for what you've done in the past. They haven't wronged him. They paid him a ton of money."

Thompson signed a five-year, $189 million contract with Golden State after he sustained a torn ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals.

He missed the entire 2019-20 season to rehab before tearing his Achilles and subsequently missing the 2020-21 season.

After consecutive serious leg injuries, Thompson eventually returned to the court with the Warriors but, understandably, was never the same dominant two-way star he once was.

And he is coming off one of the worst showings of his 13-year NBA career, averaging 17.9 points on 43.2-percent shooting from the field and 38.7 percent from 3-point range, with 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 29.7 minutes.

That is not to take away from what he has done for and meant to the franchise. A four-time NBA champion and five-time NBA All-Star, Thompson, alongside his longtime teammates Steph Curry and Draymond Green, had a historic run together in Golden State.

But in the end, Thompson chose to move on and get a fresh start in Dallas. And Sharpe believes there should be no bad blood between both parties.

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