SACRAMENTO — It’s looking likely Klay Thompson will play this final contract year without an extension signed, and Thompson sees it as an opportunity to “savor” what could technically be his final season with the Golden State Warriors.
“You never know what’s going to happen. I’m going to savor this as much as I can,” Thompson said. “Especially in this uniform. I was here before it was sweet, before it was four championships.”
Thompson then pointed to his Warriors-blue practice jersey after shootaround at Golden 1 Center on Friday.
“I was here building the foundation, so yeah I’m going to savor it,” he said. “Because everyone around the world thinks it’s sweet when they look at Warriors but it’s not always been like this, so I’m going to savor the heck out of it.”
Thompson, 33, is entering the final season of his five-year, $189.9 million contract he signed while prepping for surgery to repair his ACL torn during the 2019 NBA Finals. Thompson returned midway through the 2022 championship season, but had been working to get back to his pre-injured condition after the ACL surgery and subsequent Achilles tear surgery.
Thompson is in better playing shape at the outset of this season compared to last, where he didn’t participate in most of their preseason games and opted out of offseason pick-up games. He played in every one of the Warriors’ preseason games this year and will be expected to play some defense at the power forward spot; Thompson played strong defense against Kevin Durant in the Warriors’ season opening loss on Tuesday.
Contract extension talks have stalled, according to reports, but Thompson and the Warriors could come to an agreement at any time during the season. Thompson hopes to sideline money talk during the season, he said.
“I don’t know, I’m focused on the daily dedication it takes to do this job,” Thompson said. “I’m not really worried about an extension right now. It will all play out. I just don’t think about it. I don’t like thinking about it.”
In addition, Thompson expects to get back to playing close to 82 games this year, that includes the majority of the Warriors’ 15 back-to-backs, as he did before his injuries. He played 69 games last year and 32 in 2022.
“I’ve been back, I think I established I was back,” Thompson said. “Now it’s about squeezing everything we can out of this run we’re on and we can’t be content. Obviously we’ve had great success in the last decade in terms of championships, and you have the chance to win more, you don’t want to leave anything on the table.”