Last season, Klay Thompson shot 44 percent from three. The season before that 41.4 percent. In his first seven seasons in the league he has never shot below 40 percent from beyond the arc, and that has helped propel him to four All-Star Games and two All-NBA selections.
This season, Thompson is shooting 33.7 percent. In his last five games, that is down to a “who is this?” 18.2 percent on 4.4 attempts per game.
On the growing list of questions about this edition of the Warriors, “what is wrong with Klay’s shot?” is right at the top of the list. And he’s tired of talking about it.
And he’s really not taking people’s advice on what’s wrong.
For the record, Reggie Miller isn’t offering any advice.
Here is more frustrated Thompson, who is tired talking about his shot.
Thompson is right, the “struggling” Warriors are in first place (after Denver’s loss Wednesday night). That doesn’t mean the questions about his shot, the team’s inconsistent defense, and more are not valid. They are.
The Warriors also are not really worried about any of it. They think they will be right come April, and few around the league question that assumption.
One reason Thompson should be worried? This shooting slump could cost him money. First, it may keep him out of the All-Star Game this season in a West that is ridiculously deep with good guards. Thompson would probably be okay with that and see it as a vacation. The bigger problem is Thompson is a free agent next summer, and if he does not make an All-NBA Team this season the Warriors cannot offer him a designated veteran supermax contract. And right now Thompson is not particularly close to an All-NBA team. What that means in practical terms: No All-NBA his starting salary is about $32.5 million, the five-year contract worth around $190 million; make an All-NBA team and the starting salary jumps to more than $37 million, and the five-year contract is well north of $220 million.
Thompson has never been driven by money the same way some players are, but that doesn’t mean he wants to leave cash on the table. That said, he can probably live on a $32 million salary. What would bother him more is his shot not coming around by the playoffs and holding the team back. That’s unlikely, but we’re more than a third of the way through the season and his shot is still off, so its something to watch.