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Klay Thompson is entering the final year of his $43.2 million contract. Two things are certain going forward: 1) Both Thompson and the Warriors want to reach a contract extension that will keep him on the only team he has ever played for; 2) After a couple of serious injuries, Thompson is no longer the elite All-NBA level player he once was and will have to take a pay cut.

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These are delicate negotiations, but the parties are talking, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne said on the Lowe Post podcast. They are taking it easy, he adds.

“I understand that they have started talks to extend the contract with Klay Thompson. This is a slow process. This idea that he’s been eligible for a while and they haven’t done anything…they’ve started talking. They have exchanged proposals. There is no rush for these discussions. Optionality goes both ways. Not necessarily he’s trying to leave, but just the option that he didn’t have a great year last year. It is up to him to have a big year this year and he will become more valuable if he does.”

If the Warriors are going to be the contender they think they are this season with the addition of Chris Paul, a few things have to go right for them. Among them is a step up from Thompson, who averaged 21.9 points per game last season and shot 41.2% on 3-pointers, but understandably wasn’t the same shot creator, threat or defender he had been before two devastating injuries (torn ACL and then Achilles tendon). He needs to be closer to his old self.

Even if he takes a step forward, he is no longer a $40 million a year player. What is a fair number per season for Thompson at age 33? Something close to $30-$35 million per season? And for how many years, with what incentives, and does Thompson have a player option at the end?

The Warriors reached a Four-year, $100 million extension with Draymond Green to hold together another aging part of your core. There’s a lot to negotiate, but the Warriors should be able to find a middle ground with Thompson and find a number that works for both of them.

If not… it would be strange to see Thompson wearing another team’s jersey, but he will have options.

#Klay #Thompson #Warriors #reportedly #talking #contract #extension #process #moving #slowly

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