It's been a busy offseason for Klay Thompson hasn't it? First the unsettling trade rumours with Kevin Love, then the FIBA world-cup to deal with and now this contract extension saga. Some people just don't get a break.
The Warriors have made it publicly known that they intend to reach an agreement with the three-year guard but reports say that the Warriors and Klay are roughly $2-3 million apart.
The Warriors are on the books for roughly $75 million in salaries next season with 4 of their 5 starters earning over $10 million. With the strict salary-cap regulations, you can see why they are so cautious when it comes to spending money.
But if Golden-State want to remain competitive in the snake-pit that is the Western Conference they must do everything they can to keep Thompson in a Warrior's uniform.
Deserving of a deal
Let's start with the obvious; Klay Thompson is one of the best pure-shooters in the league. I could spend all day watching that gorgeous stroke of his and boy is it effective.
No player in NBA history has made more threes (545) in their first three seasons than Thompson has. Having just finished back to back season with over 200 made threes in each and shooting over 40 percent in both, I think it's safe to assume that trend is going to continue for at least the next four to five seasons. His motion is so quick that given only a sliver of daylight, he'll make you pay.
Performing on the court
You could argue that Thompson is now the best spot-up shooter in the NBA. He lead the league in catch and shoot points per game with 9.2 according to NBA's player tracking. With his perimeter skills being so lethal, that has opened up other parts of his growing offensive game.
Being 6'7, he is taller than most other shooting-guards in the league. This has allowed him to develop a lost-post game which has being increasingly effective (see last his game-winner against indiana last season). With defenders so worried about him shooting the ball, it has opened up his driving game which allows him to either get to the rim where he can finish with both hands or pull-up for a mid-range jumper.
The Warriors set a lot of screens for Klay to use and he has become adept at seeing where to go to on the floor and how to get separation from his defender. He has the complete offensive game. Don't agree? Kobe Bryant does.
During last season, people started to notice that Thompson was more than just a sharp-shooter; he was guarding the other team's best perimeter player such as Chris Paul and James Harden night in and night out.
Critiqued for his defense coming into the league, Thompson has made it his business to become one of the best two-way players in the NBA. He can guard three positions, he has the height and length, he has the instincts but most importantly he has the heart. He loves to play defense and you can see that on the court. His defensive versatility allows the less-able Steph Curry to focus more on the offensive end where he is so potent.
Klay is also just a good basketball player. He sees the floor, makes good passes and knows when and where to cut without the ball. To see what I'm talking about, here is a great video showing why Klay could be a top-five shooting guard next season.
Are injuries a problem you ask? He's only missed one game in his NBA career so far and that was to attend his Grandfather's funeral.
Having just turned 24, the best is still to come for Thompson. He could very well be an All-Star this season and for years to come, but will he be representing Golden State? Or will another team manage to swoop in and grab Klay much like Dallas did with Chandler Parsons? Either way, Klay Thompson is about to get paid and he definetly deserves it.
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