Re-signing five-time All-Star guard Klay Thompson remains a priority for the Warriors, team owner Joe Lacob told Yahoo Sports in the wake of the torn left ACL the star suffered Thursday in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Thompson, who according to the report is expected to miss up to 10 months because of the injury, was seeking a max contract this summer in free agency. The injury might complicate things this offseason, but Lacob says he remains intent on bringing back Thompson, 29.
“I don’t know yet what we’re going to do,” Lacob told Yahoo Sports. “I’ve said for a long time I want Klay to be a Warrior for life, and so this doesn’t change anything as far as I’m concerned.”
Although Thompson’s first choice is to re-sign with the Warriors, who drafted him in 2011, he would consider other teams if obstacles come up, Yahoo’s sources said.
Game 6 offered just a glimpse of what he can bring on the court: Before Thompson went down awkwardly after going up for a dunk, he was the best player on the floor, scoring a game-high 30 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, 4-of-6 from 3-point range, and 10-of-10 from the free-throw line while grabbing five rebounds in 32 minutes.
In eight seasons with Golden State, Thompson has averaged 19.5 points per game.
Just as important, however, he emerged as a vocal leader during the 2019 NBA Finals, which the two-time defending champion Warriors lost to the Raptors.
“I’m not going to say anything because the free-agency period isn’t here yet,” Lacob said. “You know I have the utmost regard for Klay’s talent and for him as a person. I’m pretty sure we’ll talk this summer, and he’ll hopefully be a Warrior for life.”
The free-agent negotiating period begins June 30.
Thompson’s future could be intertwined with that of Kevin Durant, also a pending free agent who suffered a devastating injury in the NBA Finals. He ruptured his right Achilles in Game 5 and is expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season.