Klay Thompson

Shams expects Klay to test free-agent market this summer

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Will the 2023-24 NBA season be Klay Thompson's final campaign with the Warriors?

During an appearance on "The Pat MacAfee Show," the Athletic's Shams Charania revealed he expects Thompson to test the free-agent market this summer.

"From everything I've been told, this has been a stressful year for Klay Thompson," Charania said. "He's been going through it at different points and I think he's doing the best he can to get through it. He's set to be a free agent at the end of the season -- I expect him to test the marketplace."

Charania listed a handful of potential suitors for Thompson's services, including a pair of Pacific Division foes that the Warriors play at least four times per season annually.

"I would expect both Florida teams [Orlando Magic and Miami Heat], I would expect both L.A. teams [Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers], I would expect a couple of East Coast teams to have interest in Klay Thompson."

Charania also speculated that the contract extension teammate Draymond Green received in July 2023 heavily factors into Thompson's unresolved future.

"They [Warriors and Thompson] discussed an extension; they offered him an extension around two years, $48 million. When you look at it, they just gave Draymond Green four years [$100 million]," Charania explained.

"So if you're Klay Thompson and you're in that same realm and you get offered two years [$48 million], I think the lack of an extension and then his free agency is looming, that's a factor just off the bat going into the season."

Thompson came off the bench in the Warriors' nail-biting win over the Utah Jazz on Thursday at Delta Center -- snapping a streak of 727 consecutive starts dating back to his rookie season in 2012.

The 13-year NBA veteran delivered a vintage performance in the victory, scoring a team-high 35 points in 28 minutes off the bench.

Despite inconsistencies in his performance this season, Thompson has shown flashes of the All-Star caliber player he once was, which Charania notes still can be tremendously valuable to any team pursuing the veteran sharpshooter's services.

"He's had an up and down year," Charania said. "Last night, amazing. He's had these performances; he's shown still that he can be Klay Thompson. He can go and help a team, I think to a high degree."

"Then you have this question of his role. When you talk about sacrificing role, talk about your minutes. Last night, he comes off the bench -- still plays significant minutes -- but this is a guy [who's] a four-time champion, All-NBA, All-Star caliber guy, now coming off the bench. That's an adjustment."

Thompson is averaging 17.3 points per game during the 2023-24 NBA season, posting a career-low in field-goal percentage (42.1) and 3-point percentage (37.3) in 30.6 minutes per contest.

What Thompson's market ultimately will be remains unclear, but one thing remains certain.

Seeing the four-time champion suit up for another team would take Warriors fans some time to adjust after he spent his entire 13-year NBA career in the Bay Area as a foundational piece of a dynasty.

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