If you were starting a team and could have any shooting guard in the NBA, how would you rank your choices?
James Harden would top most lists.
After that it gets complicated. (You can’t have Goran Dragic or Eric Bledsoe just because the Suns start two point guards.)
Among the contenders:
- Arron Afflalo
- Bradley Beal
- Jimmy Butler
- Monta Ellis
- Wesley Matthews
- Victor Oladipo
- Lance Stephenson
- Klay Thompson
- Dwyane Wade
Who you’d pick depends on preference – playing style, fit with other players and how quickly your team is trying to win.
The Warriors have a player on the list – Thompson – who thrives in their 3-point-happy system, plays extremely well with their other starters and is already good and still improving. They’re going to keep someone like that.
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Thompson’s contract expires after next season, when he’d become a restricted free agent.
Considering Andrew Bogut, David Lee, Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry will already be under contract for $50,974,922 in 2015-16 and team options for Marreese Speights, Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Nemanja Nedovic could push the payroll to $61,423,828, the Warriors as constructed are unlikely to have cap room in 2015 whether or not they re-sign Thompson. So, they might as well re-sign him.
What Lacob is indicating, in other words, is the Warriors plan to proceed with their current core.
If they’re so set on re-signing Thompson, why not just extend his contract while he’s eligible this offseason? Thompson can sign an extension between July 10 and Oct. 31. I suspect the Warriors and Thompson will negotiate toward one.
And if they don’t reach a deal by the deadline, Lacob is sending an early warning shots to other teams for the summer of 2015:
Don’t sign Thompson to an offer sheet. You’re just wasting your time.