The Golden State Warriors' rocky season ended with a palpable thud on Tuesday night in a 119-94 play-in tournament loss to the rival Sacramento Kings.

Instead of living to play another day before what would've been a highly anticipated potential first-round matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Dubs have gone home early, suddenly facing an extended offseason marked by franchise-altering questions that have already proven impossible to ignore.

Klay Thompson's disastrous performance against the Kings only added more tension to postgame queries about his future in Golden State. The impending free agent didn't take the podium at Golden 1 Center, but Stephen Curry made a convincing case for Thompson to remain in the Bay Area for him.

Asked about the possible end of his legendary tenure alongside Thompson and Draymond Green, the greatest player in franchise history made abundantly clear what he expects to happen come July.

“I can never see myself not with those two guys; I understand this league changes, and there’s so many things that go into it,” Curry said, per Ben Golliver of the Washington Post.

“I know they want to win, and I want to win. That’s all I’m worried about.”

What Stephen Curry said to Klay Thompson as Kings blew out Warriors

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) sits on the bench during action against the Sacramento Kings in the fourth quarter during a play-in game of the 2024 NBA playoffs at the Golden 1 Center
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

With the exception of Moses Moody and perhaps Brandin Podziemski, not a single player on the Warriors roster played the way they wanted with the season on the line. There's no denying Thompson had it worst, though, missing all 10 of his shots while failing to get to the free-throw line in his first scoreless performance since his rookie season.

The 34-year-old forced up bad misses throughout the game and was the victim of multiple blow-bys on the other end, arguably the worst game of his career playing out just as bad as the box score suggested.

Thompson has been living for moments like Tuesday's game for the majority of his time in the NBA, almost always rising to the occasion. He fell deep under it against the Kings, a depressing reality made all the more fraught by this being possibly the last game he plays in a Warriors uniform.

Thompson has long maintained that he wants to stay in Golden State. Steve Kerr and Draymond Green followed Curry by staunchly advocating for his return, too.

Did Curry address the elephant in the arena with his fellow Splash Brother as Sacramento salted away its blowout victory late in the fourth quarter, though? The Dubs' franchise player was far more interested in ensuring Thompson knew just how much the latter's stoicism during an up-and-down season meant to him and his teammates.

“I know everybody was gonna try to connect that, but it's about the sense of pride and I think just commending him on a hell of a year,” Curry replied when asked if he and Thompson discussed the future. “Everybody's gonna talk about one game, and I know he wanted to play better, but we go through so much over 82 games and the fact that he was able to turn his season around with a new role, adjusting to coming off the bench for a long period and then back in the starting lineup, really just having fun playing basketball and being at peace out there.

“I'm more worried about that because I know he's a true champion, and we all prepare ourselves to play our best when the lights are bright. When it doesn't happen, nobody needs to tell you anything because all we wanna do is win. Numbers aside, that's the only thing that matters.”

Thompson, unfortunately, capped 2023-24 almost exactly like it began—amid a rash of misses that helped prompt team-wide struggles.

But his play in Sacramento won't take away from how the future Hall-of-Famer responded to that initial low point nor the prospect of coming off the bench for the first in his career. He averaged 18.9 points per game on 60.5 percent true shooting after the All-Star break, helping Golden State save what once looked like a completely lost season.

The front office will certainly lend more credence to Thompson's season-long performance than anything that took place Tuesday night in upcoming contract negotiations. What could weigh even heavier is Thompson's indispensable role in the Warriors' decade-long stint at or near the top of the NBA, aided by glowing public endorsements from the likes of Curry, Green and Kerr.