Steph Curry

Steph believes Warriors' early contract offer to Klay was ‘fair'

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Klay Thompson had reasonable demands from the Warriors that were left unfulfilled before he became a Dallas Maverick.

His ex-Golden State teammate and forever “Splash Brother,” Steph Curry, believes so, too.

Curry recalled the Warriors' contract offer to Thompson before the 2023-24 season and believed it was fair, as noted in an exclusive interview with The Athletic’s Sam Amick.

“It is a business, and they’re supposed to try to position us to be successful with all the things that (go into it). It’s not just a three-man team,” Curry told Amick. “But I wasn’t on the phone when he was talking to the agents. I wasn’t part of those conversations. 

“I do know about the extension last fall (when Thompson’s agent, Greg Lawrence of the Wasserman Media Group, and the Warriors had discussions about a two-year, $48 million deal) and thinking that that was a fair offer that signified what Klay meant -- outside of the length of the contract, which I know was a big deal (to Thompson).”

The contract would have paid Thompson $24 million per year for two seasons. Nearly the same average annual value as Draymond Green’s current four-year, $100 million contract. 

However, Green was offered two more years on his contract than Thompson, and it has been well-reported that the longtime Warriors sharpshooter wanted the same contractual security he thought he deserved from the only team he knew.

Curry, who Thompson asked to exclude himself from the entire negotiation process, knew that the length of the proposed two-year contract was a major deal-breaker that netted his former 13-year teammate in Dallas. A rough “business,” it is, Curry.

"Klay turned (the extension) down, and, you know, we ended up here,” Curry told Amick. “I wish it would have gone differently, in the sense of whatever Klay needed (from the Warriors) to not feel disrespected. I can’t answer that, because that’s a Klay thing to talk about. I wish that’s how it would have gone down.” 

Thompson and the Warriors clearly never saw eye-to-eye during contract negotiations, and Golden State owner Joe Lacob’s cold methodology didn’t pan out.

Plus, other reasons besides contract lengths and negotiation approaches led Thompson to join the Mavericks, such as extensions that were given to arguably less-deserving players that rubbed some veterans the wrong way and shifting roles within Steve Kerr’s formerly established rotation.

Curry wanted Thompson to finish presumably his future Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame career with the Warriors. Though, Curry couldn’t deny his friend’s desire for new scenery.

“But I also know that because he needed a fresh start, things were kind of looked at a little differently,” Curry told Amick. “And that was kind of the throughline of this whole last season. It’s a two-way street on that front. 

“I think that’s why Klay was so adamant that I not get involved, because whatever outcome he wanted, he wanted to make sure it was a kind of a pure process. And at the end of the day, we all have to make decisions that are in the best interest of yourself. I’ll do that at times when it’s what’s right for me."

Unfortunately for Dub Nation, Thompson won’t end his storied NBA career only as a member of Golden State’s backcourt with Curry. 

But the change was necessary for the 34-year-old Los Angeles native. Thompson needed to leave the Golden State to clear his mind, and he felt the Mavericks fit him best in the latter stage of his career.

Perhaps Thompson and the Warriors strike a deal on the “fair” preseason contract offer Curry discussed, had the proposal had two more years in writing.

No one ever will know.

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