The 2019 free agency class could be one of the most star-studded in league history, but if Golden State Warriors All-Star guard Klay Thompson has his way, he won't be going anywhere once his contract is up.
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Ahead of the Thompson Family Foundation Golf Tournament this weekend, Thompson sat down with Mark Medina of the San Jose Mercury News and expressed his desire to remain with the Warriors.
"I've said it many times before: I would like to be a Warrior for life," Thompson told Bay Area News Group before hosting a party at Hotel Vitale as a prelude to his first annual Thompson Family Foundation Golf Tournament on Sunday at TPC Harding Park. "Contract negotiations are way down the line. But I think we all have the same interest. I would love to be here for the rest of my career."
As it stands, Golden State will face a large tax bill to keep its All-Star core of Thompson, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green intact. When asked if he would be willing to sign an extension ahead of the upcoming season to ease some of the financial burden on the franchise, Thompson indicated to Medina that he would be joining the free agency class of 2019 to maximize his potential earning.
"It's tough to say," Thompson said. "I'd definitely be interested. But at the end of the day, I'm going to be a free agent in 2019. Number one on my list would obviously be to stay with the Warriors."
At the same event, Klay's father and two-time NBA champion, Mychal, all but guaranteed to Scott Olster of the San Francisco Chronicle that his son would re-sign with Golden State:
"Oh yeah, you can mark it down," Mychal Thompson said at a party to kick off the Thompson Family Foundation's first charity golf tourney. "Klay's going to retire in the Warriors' uniform. He's going to play at Chase Center (the Warriors' new arena, opening in 2019), and he's not going to be at Chase Center as a visiting player, he's going to be a Warrior for the next seven or eight years."
Staying long term would certainly make sense; in his first seven seasons with the Warriors, Thompson has won three titles, earned four All-Star selections and two All-NBA selections. Last season, the 28-year-old averaged 20.0 points per game while connecting on 44 percent of over seven 3-point attempts per game. During the Warriors second-consecutive title run, the sharpshooter averaged 19.6 points per game, including an inspired 35-point performance in a 29-point Game 6 win over the Rockets in the Western Conference Finals.
Golden State tips off the 2018-19 regular season when it takes on the Oklahoma City Thunder Oct. 17 at 1:30 p.m. AEST.