Klay Thompson

Report: Klay made decision to leave Warriors ‘weeks ago'

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While Klay Thompson's decision to leave the Warriors certainly was not without its soul-searching moments, the move appeared to become less difficult in recent weeks.

Before agreeing to sign a reported three-year, $50 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, Thompson weighed all his options, including signing with his hometown Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers or the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Warriors, however, were not heavily involved in Thompson's early free-agent negotiations as they shifted their focus to a failed trade attempt for Clippers star forward Paul George.

Golden State not making Thompson its No. 1 priority heading into free agency made his decision to leave the only organization he has known in his NBA career that much easier, The Athletic's Anthony Slater reported in his latest column, citing a source.

"But his decision, as one source put it, became easy when the Warriors kicked him down the summer pecking order," Slater wrote. "They paid a record luxury-tax bill last season and didn’t make the playoffs, a cost-versus-benefit that is untenable. So Joe Lacob, Mike Dunleavy, Kirk Lacob and their front office set off this offseason to explore big-picture moves that could vault them into contention and salary-slicing moves that were more reasonable."

In fact, Thompson's unofficial decision to leave the Warriors was made "weeks" before Sunday's free agency negotiating window, "many" sources told Slater.

"There was little communication between Thompson, the Warriors and Thompson’s agent, Greg Lawrence, and ultimately no offer in this cycle," Slater adds. "Warriors sources maintained a plan to eventually make a competitive offer in relation to his market once other business was settled. But they never had the chance. Many league sources said Thompson’s decision to depart was unofficially made weeks ago."

While the Warriors almost certainly would have eventually circled back to Thompson in free agency, the veteran guard didn't appear to be willing to wait around.

And now, he will join forces with Luka Dončić, Kyrie Irving and the Western Conference-rival Mavericks.

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