Playoffs

Klay Thompson unfollows Warriors on social media as free agency approaches

Klay Thompson unfollows Warriors on social media as free agency approaches

Klay Thompson is set to be a free agent this offseason. He could still return to the Golden State Warriors, with whom he's played all of his 13 NBA seasons. However, the team wants to bring him back at a lesser number than the $38 million annual salary he averaged with the five-year contract that just expired.

The four-time NBA champion may have indicated how he sees his basketball future by unfollowing the Warriors on Instagram and scrubbing virtually all photos and references to the team from his account. Observant fans noticed the change, which was subsequently reported by SFGate's Gabe Lehman.

Thompson, 34, reportedly turned down a two-year, $48 million extension last year, which surely demonstrates that he's not keen on taking a nearly 50% pay cut. Perhaps he wants a longer contract, as well.

Athletes unfollowing their teams on social media, especially amid contract disputes, is nothing new nor is it an indication that a player intends to go elsewhere. The most recent example is Brandon Aiyuk unfollowing the San Francisco 49ers in April as he attempts to work out a new contract with the team. But doing so likely hints at some frustration or is a passive-aggressive attempt at making a statement.

This season, Thompson appeared in 77 games for Golden State, averaging 17.9 points and 2.3 assists while shooting 39% on three-pointers. Several NBA teams would likely be interested in adding that kind of production, but may have reservations about his health after he missed two full seasons with knee and Achilles injuries.

Thompson has played two full seasons (in addition to 32 games in 2021-22) since then. But his 0-for-10 shooting performance in the Warriors' loss to the Sacramento Kings in their play-in game may have left a lasting impression with league executives.

Though Thompson apparently wants a bigger contract than what the Warriors reportedly offered, he likely wants to finish his NBA career with a winner rather than taking a big payday from a losing team. Contenders that may be interested include the Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks and Orlando Magic.

Yet it also seems likely that Thompson's market will be set by what deals other free agents sign and what holes teams might be seeking to fill accordingly.

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