Klay Thompson

Report: Klay, Lacob's relationship ‘suffered some strain' over contract

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The business side of basketball oftentimes can be tricky to navigate, as Klay Thompson and the Warriors are finding out the hard way.

Thompson will become a free agent after the 2023-24 NBA season, and has been in negotiations with Golden State on a contract extension off and on since last offseason.

However, there does not appear to have been much progress made after Golden State reportedly offered Thompson a two-year extension last summer, which might have impacted the five-time NBA All-Star's relationship with team owner Joe Lacob.

Thompson's relationship with Lacob has "suffered some strain," The Athletic's Sam Amick reported in his latest feature.

"Thompson always knew he would likely have to wait until his free agency arrived this summer, what with Lacob’s well-chronicled hopes of ducking under the second (and possibly first) luxury tax apron compelling them to let the roster landscape fully unfold before adding salary," Amick wrote.

"But it’s clear their relationship has suffered some strain along the way, with league sources indicating that Thompson has received no assurances from on high that his hopes of retiring happily in a Warriors jersey someday will be a shared priority this summer. Both sides, it seems clear, have no clarity about what might happen when that time rolls around."

Lacob previously expressed confidence that the Warriors eventually would come to an agreement with Thompson in speaking to NBC Sports Bay Area's Bonta Hill and Chris Mullin on "Warriors Pregame Live" back in October.

"We have had some discussions and look, these things have to take their course," Lacob told Hill and Mullin. "He has a right to do whatever he wants to do. If he wants to go to free agency, that's his right. He's earned it. If he wants to be a Warrior for life, he's going to have that opportunity.

"We certainly want him to. I think he wants to be here. We want him to be here and we treat our people fairly. I think people just need to, as I said the other day on our radio show, they need to chill a little bit. Things will get done. Just give us some time. You don't just not see us get things done."

After struggling to begin the season, Thompson since has embraced a new role off the Warriors' bench and admitted to Amick that he might not want to play until his age-40 season.

“Whatever happens though, I’ve got a few more years to play this game, so I’m gonna enjoy every second,” Thompson told Amick. “I realize that I see light at the end of the tunnel, [and] I’m not sure if I want to play until I’m 40, man. That sounds really exhausting.”

In five games off the bench this season, Thompson is averaging 19.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 27 minutes per game, providing the Warriors' second unit with a Hall-of-Fame presence alongside veteran point guard Chris Paul off the bench.

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