The Golden State Warriors intend to offer five-year max contracts to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, according to Brian Windhorst on ESPN’s First Take.
“It is my understanding in talking to people with the Warriors organization is that their intention is to continue and offer Kevin Durant a full five-year max contract and to offer Klay a full five-year max contract,” Windhorst said.
Durant can opt out of his deal and become a free agent this offseason. Thompson is already an unrestricted free agent.
Durant and Thompson both suffered significant injuries during the NBA Finals. Durant suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in Game 5, and Thompson left Game 6 with a torn left ACL.
Per Windhorst, the Warriors would be on the hook for over $350 million in payroll and luxury taxes if they sign Durant and Thompson to max deals. However, Windhorst said that Golden State’s move to Chase Center in San Francisco will be a “cash cow” that brings in enough revenue to help pay for their roster.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters that Durant will miss the entire 2019-20 season. It’s not known how long Thompson will be out for, but a torn ACL could keep him out for all of next year as well.
Anthony Slater of The Athletic speculated on a potential timeline:
Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater
Eight-ish months for an ACL tear, on the very low end recovery wise, is mid-February. Gotta figure Klay Thompson is out until at least the All-Star break, if not all next season.
Still, that reportedly hasn’t deterred Golden State, who Windhorst said is determined to keep its core intact. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski also reported on Get Up! that Thompson’s injury won’t impact his upcoming free agency:
Get Up @GetUpESPN
“Even if they resign Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson to long term contracts, this is a roster that will be fighting to just make the Western Conference playoffs.” -@wojespn https://t.co/uZzmJDFEl2
Keeping the core together is a clear conclusion given its success when healthy.
The Warriors’ core four won two NBA championships in 2017 and 2018 and was two wins away from a three-peat despite Durant playing only 12 minutes in the NBA Finals after initially missing nine full playoff contests with a right calf strain. Thompson sat Game 3 with a hamstring ailment but came back in Game 4 before his Game 6 injury.
The 30-year-old Durant, a 10-time All-Star and 2013-14 NBA MVP, averaged 26.0 points on 52.1 percent shooting this season.
The 29-year-old Thompson, a five-time All-Star, posted 21.5 points per game. He scored 30 points on 8-of-12 shooting before being forced to leave Game 6.
Golden State’s future is far murkier than it was just days ago, but Warriors forward Draymond Green expressed confidence in the team.
The Athletic @TheAthleticSF
Draymond Green: “Everybody thinks this is kind of the end of us. That’s just not smart. We not done yet.” https://t.co/9CBRhMWiIJ
Golden State will be looking for its sixth straight Western Conference championship and fourth NBA title since 2015 next season.