Klay Thompson finds himself as one of the biggest names in free agency this summer. The five-time All-Star and four-time NBA champion has spent the entirety of his career with the Golden State Warriors, but for the first time ever, it truly seems like Thompson wants to evaluate all of his options in NBA free agency. Nobody can really blame Klay for keeping his options open, especially since he isn't the star talent he once was prior to his ACL and Achilles injuries.

Although he saw a decrease in production during the 2023-24 season, averaging under 20 points per game for the first time since the 2013-14 season, Thompson still managed to shoot 38.7 percent from three-point range. Between his shooting abilities and championship experience, this is why there are playoff-contending teams out there that would be interested in offering Thompson a short-term deal to try and lure him away from the Warriors.

However, Thompson has always expressed a desire to remain with the Warriors his entire career, and the franchise would obviously like to keep him alongside Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. For the first time ever, the NBA is allowing teams to negotiate with their current free agents before the actual free agency window opens on June 30 at 6 p.m. ET. The Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings are two teams that have already taken advantage of these new rules by negotiating deals with Pascal Siakam and Malik Monk, respectively.

Could Thompson and the Warriors be next in line to negotiate a new deal even before the future Hall of Famer gets the chance to speak with other organizations?

Recently, ESPN's Tim MacMahon discussed Thompson's free agency on The Hoop Collective podcast, revealing that the Warriors have a two-year offer on the table for Klay. He also pointed out that the length of the contract may mean more to Thompson than the actual money figures.

There is no doubt that Thompson is going to have to take a paycut, regardless of where he ends up. At 34 years old and having to deal with the wear-and-tear of two major injuries, he just isn't the same two-way factor he once was. Thompson made roughly $43 million last season, but he will likely have to accept a new contract that will pay him anywhere from $20 million to $25 million in the first year.

How much money Klay will get on a new deal will very much depend on what his role will look like with the Warriors or another team.

How Klay Thompson's role impacts his new contract

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) warms up before a play-in game against the Sacramento Kings in the 2024 NBA playoffs at the Golden 1 Center.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

At this point in his career, Thompson is nothing more than a catch-and-shoot threat who can occasionally create shooting opportunities for himself. He is no longer a defensive stopper, and Klay isn't as versatile of an offensive weapon as he once was earlier in his career.

Whether or not Thompson returns to the Warriors on a new contract will certainly depend on what his role will look like. It is no secret around the league that Klay was unhappy coming off the bench in the middle of the season when the team elevated rookie Brandin Podziemski to the starting lineup, and Thompson has felt a little disrespected over the fact that he is the one having to sacrifice the most to keep this Golden State core together.

Green took a paycut, yet he still received a $100 million contract. Thompson was only offered $48 million on a new extension before the season, a deal he turned down in order to explore all of his options as a true free agent.

Now, this is not to say that Thompson isn't willing to take a paycut, as he may very well do the Warriors a favor financially if certain promises can be made. Thompson is still wanting a featured role next to Curry, and he has proven to be a player that helps lead this organization to championship glory. After all, this was the case during the 2021-22 season, when he returned from his major leg injuries.

Thompson and the Warriors are able to discuss the terms of a new contract leading up to the start of free agency on June 30. But it appears that there are still hurdles to get over regarding the length of a new deal. If a deal is not reached by the start of free agency, Thompson will likely receive interest from the Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers, two Eastern Conference teams looking to improve their shooting repertoire.