NBA : Warriors, Klay Thompson agree to contract extension

NBA : Warriors, Klay Thompson agree to contract extension

The Golden State Warriors have agreed to terms with shooting guard Klay Thompson on a four-year maximum extension projected to be in the $70 million range, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

The Warriors and shooting guard Klay Thompson have agreed to a four-year maximum contract extension worth about $70 million, a person with knowledge of the deal said Friday.

The Warriors drafted Thompson from Washington State with the No. 11 pick in 2011. He has become one of the NBA’s top two-way guards and teamed with fellow “Splash Brothers” star Stephen Curry to form one of the league’s best backcourts.

Thompson averaged 18.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists last season, helping the Warriors reach the playoffs for the second consecutive season. He shot 44.4 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from 3-point range.

The Warriors refused to include Thompson in any trade talks with Minnesota for Kevin Love this offseason, believing all along that he and Curry could carry them to a title. Thompson began to validate the decision over the summer, dazzling during the FIBA World Cup in Spain with Curry to help Team USA win gold.

The payday will put more expectations on Thompson, especially with fans still split about losing Love to Cleveland, but he appears ready for the challenge.

Thompson led the Warriors with 21.7 points per game during the exhibition season, shooting 50.9 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc. He scored 19 points in the Warriors’ season-opening 95-77 win at Sacramento on Wednesday night.

But his contributions go beyond shooting and scoring.

At 6-foot-7 and 215 pounds, the lengthy Thompson often defends the other team’s best guard. That includes everybody from the Clippers’ Chris Paul to the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, taking pressure off teammates on the perimeter, most notably the undersized Curry.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers made extending Thompson’s contract one of his top offseason priorities, and he predicted from the get-go that it could go right up to the deadline.

Thompson was seeking a max deal, which he might have been able to get as a restricted free agent next summer. Teams could have put clauses in the contract to make it difficult for the Warriors to match, so they decided to tie up Thompson now.

The Warriors were also trying to balance Thompson’s needs with their own payroll concerns. The team will be facing similar scenarios with Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli next year and has increasingly less room to wiggle under the salary cap with its current roster.

Thompson’s deal eclipses the contract Curry signed before the 2012-13 season when he was due for an extension.

The Warriors signed Curry to a $44 million, four-year extension on Oct. 31, 2012. Curry, who started his first All-Star Game for the Western Conference last season, was coming off his second operation on his right ankle in as many years that summer and questions persisted about his durability.