Bob Myers Jokes That The Klay Thompson Contract Negotiation Is Why He Left The Warriors, But His Quip Reveals A Truth

ESPN NBA analyst Bob Myers didn’t have to wait long to talk about his old team, the Golden State Warriors. On Sunday’s “NBA Countdown” the former general manager was asked about the lack of progress between the Warriors and star guard Klay Thompson on a contract extension.

“Well, this is why I left, first of all,” joked Myers before fully answering. “A lot of times, people will say, ‘It’s just business,’ but this is not a ‘just business’ situation. There’s going to be a statue of this player outside of Chase Center. He was instrumental in bringing four championships. He’s beloved inside the organization [and by] the fan base. So it’s not so simple as, ‘It’s money and years.”

How Much Is Thompson Worth To The Warriors?

Thompson is 33 and in the last year of his deal, earning $43 million this season. He’s a four-time champion and would love to end his career with the only franchise he’s ever played for. But at what cost?

The Warriors want to keep winning titles, but with its aging core of Stephen Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green, how much does governor Joe Lacob want to go into the luxury tax for a player? Even one as beloved as Thompson?

Myers was the team’s general manager from 2011-23, presiding over the team’s most successful period. He’s forged tremendous relationships with so many of the players and coaches during his tenure. So he’s right to say it’s more than business. It is in fact personal.

Part of a GM’s job at the behest of ownership is to make tough decisions for the betterment of the franchise, which might not always align with what’s best for the player.

Thompson led the league in made threes last season but has had two devastating leg injuries and is no longer the defensive stalwart he once was. The shot is still there of course, which is elite. But what is that worth to the team at this stage?

It’s Always Personal But The Business Is A Constant

“This is why it was hard for me, Malika. You get relationships with these people, especially if you succeeded with them. And that core has been together for 12 years, and that’s just so rare now. That just doesn’t happen. And so this is a delicate negotiation,” Myers continued.

“From what I know and see, he wants to stay. They want him to stay. Doesn’t mean it’ll happen. But it is a test, it’s certainly a test, like Woj said, and this is probably the first real test.” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting the two sides are far apart in Thompson’s contract talks.

Thompson means a lot to this organization and Curry. You don’t find cores that grow and stay together this long anymore. The realities of the league and the CBA have changed that. But this group loves winning together and thinks that it still can.

It is rare for teams with core players all north of 30 to remain elite. Father Time and all that. At some point you’re left with an old expensive team that can’t win.

Lacob is pragmatic and he understands the importance of that core to the organization’s success. But he also knows that winning is the driving force. If that means bringing Thompson back on a more team-friendly deal with less years, he will instruct new general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. to do so.

Because while it is always personal, there is still the business to consider.

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