Klay Thompson Warriors contract extension not automatic, Gilbert Arenas says

Why Arenas doesn't want Dubs to extend Klay 'automatically' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

As Klay Thompson enters the final year of his current Warriors contract, there has been plenty of talk and speculation about what a potential extension for the star could look like.

Former Golden State guard Gilbert Arenas recently lent his voice to the fray, explaining why the Warriors shouldn't blindly extend Thompson without first testing his market.

"I’m not going to give him an extension," Arenas said on his "No Chill" podcast. "I’m going to let him play the year out ... I want to see what his value is in the open market. …

"It’s an a--hole move, but sometimes you just got to be the a--hole. Whatever he gets in the open market, I would try to match, but I would want to see what the value is versus just automatically giving him an extension.”

Thompson is a Warriors legend and future Hall of Famer. He triumphantly returned in January 2022 from back-to-back leg injuries that stole 941 days of basketball from him. He's a four-time NBA champion with Golden State, but his recent playoff showing could impact his value moving forward -- especially considering the league's new CBA, which significantly affects teams' spending.

The Athletic's Shams Charania and Anthony Slater reported in mid-May that should Thompson agree to a contract extension with the Warriors this summer, the "expectation" is that he would need to accept a pay cut. The 33-year-old is due $43.2 million of his five-year, $190 million contract in 2023-24.

Early in the Warriors' most recent playoff run, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thompson had the expectation he would be awarded a new, max-level extension this offseason. But after a 34.3 shooting percentage in the Western Conference semifinals, there's no telling the price tag Thompson would command.

Some, like ESPN analyst and former NBA player Kendrick Perkins, believe Thompson shouldn't accept a pay cut from the Warriors and instead can go get a bag with another team next year. But Arenas' approach would be to see what other teams believe Thompson is worth before naming a price.

RELATED: Arenas claims Steph, Klay, Dray best Big Three in NBA history

Is it unfair, however, to say Golden State already knows the Splash Bro's worth? Thompson has been counted out before and bounced back tremendously in the past, with four championship rings to show for his efforts.

But the Warriors have plenty to consider from here on out when it comes to how they both construct and pay for their roster -- and Thompson's contract is a huge piece of the puzzle.

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