In the summer of 2019, two key players of the Golden State Warriors title runs will be on the market as free agents. Those two players are Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. There has been speculation and rumor from around the league that either one or even both of these players could leave and go elsewhere. The question though, which player would be more likely to leave?
On July 4th, 2016 Kevin Durant made arguably one of the most shocking moves in NBA history as he decided to team up with Steph Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green in the Bay Area and join the Warriors.
This decision instantly made him one of the most hated players in the league. Many said it was the worst move by a superstar as the Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team Durant was on in the Western Conference Finals in 2016. Not to mention the Warriors were fresh off a 73-win season.
With all of this, some NBA critics look at Durant’s two championships as meaningless while throwing out the idea that Durant ruined the NBA.
For Durant to leave it could come down to several reasons. If Durant is to leave Golden State it may allow him to shed the label of a player that took the easy way out to chase rings. Going to a team on a lower caliber than the Warriors may ultimately help the 30-year-old’s legacy even if it is a lesser basketball situation.
For those interested, Kevin Durant’s reaction as I break the news of his $25,000 fine right in front of him. Also, his thoughts. pic.twitter.com/1rWgkZV3Kb
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) November 21, 2018
Klay Thompson has been with the Warriors since he was drafted by the team in 2011. During his tenure, he has built himself a pretty solid list of achievements which include being a three-time champion, four-time All-Star, has been named to the All-NBA third team twice, won the three-point contest and is already one of the greatest three-point shooters in NBA history statistically.
Something that could lead Thompson away from the Bay Area is perhaps the desire for a larger contract. A larger contract that could be hard for the Warriors to offer with other contract decisions looming resulting in Thompson likely having to take a pay cut.
While there have not been any rumors that Thomspon wants a bigger contract if money is his number one priority this upcoming free agency, Golden State might not make the cut.
Put Klay Thompson on the Lakers with LeBron, and they are taking down the Warriors! pic.twitter.com/9HDwCYahXb
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) September 3, 2018
Aside from the money the family connection looms large. Thompon’s father, Michael Thompson is a current Los Angeles Lakers broadcaster which instantly drives the rumors to L.A. and Thompson teaming up with LeBron James.
Thompson could also be looking for the chance to be the number one option on a team. As long as he is in a Golden State Warriors jersey, Thompson will be a plus role-player, especially with Kevin Durant and Steph Curry on the team.