Klay Thompson still has two years remaining on his contract with the Warriors, but he would consider taking a discount to remain with the defending NBA champions. Thompson explained: “If it’s a few million. It’s a blessing whatever contract I sign. I would definitely consider it ’cause I don’t want to lose anybody.” He also clarified that he wouldn’t take too much of a discount like Kevin Durant did to remain with the Warriors this offseason: “I don’t make as much as Kevin off the court”. Durant could have made $34.5 million with his latest deal but instead took $25 million with a player option for 2018-19. With Stephen Curry signed to a five-year deal worth over $200 million, the Warriors now have their core locked up for a few more seasons. Additionally, the front office has found ways to make room for players like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston to keep depth in the rotation. As for Thompson, the shooting guard is making an average of $18.4 million each of the next two years but could potentially make even more on the open market based on the latest deals around the league. The 27-year-old has been an All-Star the last three years and was a key part of the team’s two title runs over that span.
Kawhi Leonard is expected to miss the Spurs preseason because of right quadriceps tendinopathy. In a press release, the Spurs added: “A timeline for his return to the court will be determined at a later date”. Coach Gregg Popovich told reporters that the thigh has bothered Leonard since the playoffs. The two-time All-Star and two-time defensive player of the year has been working on rehabilitation all summer but is still not ready to get on the court. Popovich said: “It’s just from last year, working on things from last year. It’s gone a little more slowly than we thought.” Leonard averaged 25.5 points and 5.8 rebounds for the Spurs last season. He was voted first team All-NBA, first team All-Defense and finished third in the MVP voting behind Russell Westbrook and James Harden. He re-tweaked an already sprained left ankle in Game 1 of the team’s Western Conference Finals series against the Golden State Warriors, and missed the final three games of that series as the Spurs were swept out of the playoffs.
If Michael Beasley is even half as good as he says he is, the Knicks will be hoisting the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy this June. The boisterous Knicks forward may be on his fourth NBA team in three years, but Beasley said the idea of him being a journeyman backup is simply “perception” and he’s actually as talented as any basketball player on the planet: “[It’s] mostly perception. As far as talent-wise, I match up with Kevin [Durant], LeBron, I match up with the best guys in the world.” While LeBron and Durant have each won at least one championship and MVP award, Beasley sports a career average of 12.6 points per game and has never been named to an All-Star team. Beasley explained: “If you look over the past nine years, I never played more than 24-25 minutes a game. Being a No. 2 pick, especially in my first 3-4 years, that should raise a question mark. Not to toot my own horn, but not a lot of guys come into the NBA after the kind of year I had at Kansas State. For whatever reason, I just never got a fair shake.” Of course, this isn’t exactly true. Beasley averaged 29.8 minutes a game in his second season with the Heat in 2009, and then averaged 32.3 minutes a game the following year in his first season with the Timberwolves. While Beasley has repeatedly taken ownership of his off-the-court incidents and issues with marijuana, he believes these past transgressions don’t take anything away from his perceived high level of talent as a basketball player: “I’m not being cocky; it’s just always how I felt. But I got into trouble as soon as I got into the NBA, and it left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths.”