If you think Klay Thompson is considering leaving the Warriors this summer, you either: 1) Need to stop reading random speculation from unsourced people on message boards; 2) Are living in a DC Comics parallel universe (not even a Marvel one, those are still tethered to reality on some level). I have reported that no source I have spoken to around the league thinks Thompson is leaving the Warriors, countless others have heard and reported the same thing, and even the original ESPN report that said the Lakers loved the idea of how Thompson would fit next to LeBron James said in the next breath the Lakers didn’t think Thompson was leaving the Warriors.
Still, the rumor lives on for some reason. Hope dies hard.
The latest person to shoot it down is the well-connected Ethan Strauss of The Athletic in a story about the future of the Warriors (which you should read).
While Thompson has indicated an interest in remaining a “Warrior for life,” his return cannot just be taken for granted. Still, the expectation within and outside the Warriors is that Klay isn’t leaving. This is why you don’t hear about any team besides the Lakers gearing up for the Summer of Klay.
LeBron and the Lakers love the idea of Thompson. As they should — elite shooter, can put the ball on the floor and create a little, is an excellent perimeter defender. Exactly what works best next to LeBron. He’s be a great No. 2 (since the guys they have in house don’t live up to that title). Thompson is a SoCal guy, his father is a Laker legend and a current color commentator for the team on radio broadcasts, and LeBron is too smart not to recruit a little.
However, Thompson is his own kind of cat. He cares about money (and is not expected to give the Warriors a discount), but he cares about work environment and winning more. Thompson doesn’t need “his own team,” he doesn’t seek the spotlight the same way as many elite players. He loves being part of the Warriors, part of a dynasty. His father, Mychael, was a No. 1 overall pick who played for a few teams in the NBA but had his best experiences coming off the bench for the Showtime Lakers — what kind of lesson do you think young Klay took away from that?
Nobody around the league thinks Thompson is leaving the Warriors (the only way is they lowball him on the contract offer, which they will not do).
Kevin Durant on the other hand….