Klay Thompson

Why Stephen A Smith believes ‘end is near' for Klay, Warriors

NBC Universal, Inc.

As Klay Thompson's impending NBA free agency looms this summer, his future with the Warriors is a hot-button topic being debated by many media members. 

This time, the always-outspoken Stephen A. Smith expressed why he believes the end is near for the guard’s tenure with Golden State.

Speaking on ESPN’s “First Take” on Tuesday morning, Smith explained that the conversation Thompson recently had on "The Draymond Green Show" regarding his upcoming free agency signaled the 34-year-old's time in the Bay could soon be coming to a close.

“It’s an indication that the end is near, and they know it,” Smith said. “I’m telling you right now that regardless of the fact that they’re going to make the play-in, you aren’t spending that money if you’re Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber, to be in the play-in. You could spend less money and make the play-in.

“And so, when you look at the Golden State Warriors and the fact that you have been battling through the play-in, last year you get to the semifinals and stuff like that, you do get to the point where you’d love to keep these guys together? Sure, but will the money work? That’s the question mark.”

With the Warriors at the limit of the NBA luxury tax threshold, keeping Thompson and the rest of the Golden State core will be difficult even with the fact that Steph Curry and Green are currently locked into long-term contracts, something Smith pointed out.

“Steph Curry isn’t going anywhere. ... Dray is locked up, you’ve got him for four years, three years after this one, he’s locked in,” Smith explained. “Klay is the wildcard because Klay may want to stay in Golden State, but in the same breath he’s going to feel the need to be appreciated and if the money isn’t right, which it’s entirely plausible that that may be the case, then they may have to move in a different direction.”

As Smith explained to Shannon Sharpe and Tim Legler, he got the impression that the way Thompson and Green were talking about their tenure with the Warriors indicated their impending breakup.

“And so, I got that from listening to them yesterday, a little bit, and hearing what Klay was saying and why, it’s almost like they’re reminiscing,” Smith told Sharpe and Legler. “You know when a guy is speaking like that, it’s like paying homage to each other and what you’ve accomplished. You do that when you feel that the end is near.”

As a noted New York Knicks fan, Smith explained that plenty of teams in the NBA would love to sign Thompson as a free agent this summer, and if the Knicks were to land him, Smith would celebrate with a house party.

“I think that when you look at Klay Thompson, this is his way of saying goodbye, preparing himself for the end in Golden State,” Smith said. “Let me assure you, there’s at least 20-25 teams that should want Klay Thompson. And let me raise my hand, those New York Knicks should be one of them.

“But let me tell you something, if Klay Thompson were in a New York Knicks uniform, I would throw a house party.”

While Thompson has been a key contributor to the Warriors’ four NBA titles in the past 10 years, the 34-year-old has struggled to regain his elite form in recent seasons. This season has been challenging as the shooting guard got moved to the bench for the first time in his career amid a protracted shooting slump.

Given its luxury tax situation, the Warriors will have plenty of decisions to make during the summer in terms of its roster. While Thompson did express his desire to stay with Golden State, the financial situation could make it difficult to figure out a contract that would satisfy both parties.

Download and follow the Dubs Talk Podcast

Contact Us