The Golden State Warriors are not letting two major injuries change their offseason plans.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Warriors still intend to offer the five-year max contract to both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson despite the fact that both are facing extended spells on the sidelines due to injury.
Windhorst said that while re-signing both players would be very costly, they expect to make up the revenue to do it by moving to the new Chase Center in San Francisco next season.
Durant is likely to miss all of next season after rupturing his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Thompson stands to miss the bulk of the year as well after suffering a torn ACL in Game 6.
Before the injuries, the Warriors had made it clear that they intended to do what they needed to do to keep their core together. They seemed less certain of that after what happened in the Finals, but in spite of it all, they’re still going to try.
This NBA offseason is going to be one of the most interesting in recent history after the unfortunate injuries both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson suffered, and the shifting in Las Vegas odds shows just how much uncertainty there is heading into the 2019-20 season.
Even with Durant expected to miss all of next year while recovering from a torn Achilles, the Golden State Warriors still entered Game 6 of the NBA Finals as the favorites to win the title in 2020 with +190 odds. Then Thompson tore his ACL, and we saw some major changes.
Updated odds to win the 2020 NBA Championship:
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) June 14, 2019
As of Friday, the Milwaukee Bucks — not the Warriors — had the best odds to win it all next season. As gifdsports notes, the Los Angeles Lakers also saw their chances take a major swing from +2000 to +700.
What does it all mean? Not a whole lot, but the injuries to Durant and Thompson create a massive element of uncertainty. Thompson was considered a lock to remain with the Warriors before his torn ACL, and that may still be the case. However, can they really re-sign both him and Durant and risk not having neither play at all next season? Even if they do, Golden State may be looking at a year off from title contention.
The Eastern Conference also got weaker after Durant’s injury, which probably explains why the Bucks are now at the top of the championship odds list. While at least one East team is willing to offer Durant a max contract despite his injury, there was potential several days ago for Durant to change the landscape of the East next year. Even if he does sign with an Eastern Conference team now, he isn’t going to be able to help in 2019-20.
If Kawhi Leonard decides to stick with the Toronto Raptors, they should easily be the favorites to repeat. Having them at +800 indicates oddsmakers expect him to leave, which he may have hinted at following Game 6.
Stay tuned and fasten your seatbelts.
- Klay Thompson
The injury news on Klay Thompson could not be worse.
Thompson suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during Game 6 of the NBA Finals Thursday, his agent told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Thompson injured his knee when he landed awkwardly after being fouled on a dunk attempt late in the third quarter of the game. He went down in pain and was heading to the locker room before returning to the floor to shoot two free throws, which he made.
The longtime Golden State Warriors guard later went back to the locker room and was seen leaving Oracle Arena on crutches.
Thompson was leading the Warriors with 30 points in the game at the time of his injury and finished as their leading scorer. Not only is the injury devastating for him as it could keep him out all of next season, but it also comes at a bad time financially. The 29-year-old will be a free agent this summer and was expected to sign a major contract.
Two of the Warriors’ best players from this season’s team — Kevin Durant being the other — are now entering next season facing recoveries from major injuries. Both players are expected to become free agents.
- Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson left Oracle Arena on crutches in the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday due to a knee injury.
Late in the third quarter, Thompson landed awkwardly on his left leg as he came down from being fouled by Danny Green on a dunk attempt. The Golden State Warriors guard went down in pain and headed to the locker room, but he returned to shoot his free throws, making both.
Thompson later exited the game for good and went into the locker room. ESPN later showed Thompson leaving the arena on crutches.
Klay Thompson is seen walking by the Warriors locker room on crutches. pic.twitter.com/U8IoHkvvJI
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 14, 2019
He also had an ice bag on his knee:
Klay leaves the building on crutches pic.twitter.com/BtliB5GG4q
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) June 14, 2019
Thompson was the Warriors’ leading scorer with 30 points at the time he left the game. He has a reputation for putting up his best games in Game 6 of playoff series and was doing it again versus the Toronto Raptors.
Thompson was already playing through a hamstring injury in the series and now has exited with a knee injury. The Warriors are also without Kevin Durant, who tried to return from a calf injury and suffered a torn Achilles tendon in Game 5.
Klay Thompson went down with a left knee injury during Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.
Late in the third quarter, Thompson was going for a dunk and got fouled by Danny Green. He missed the dunk and landed awkwardly on his left knee and went down to the floor grabbing it.
Klay Thompson takes a fall and he was on the ground in some serious pain pic.twitter.com/mw0HpOOq5y
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) June 14, 2019
He came back after his knee did this pic.twitter.com/hg0pWSB0r5
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 14, 2019
Thompson was being taken to the locker room before being informed that he had to shoot his free throws otherwise he would not be allowed to return to the game. The Golden State Warriors guard returned from the tunnel onto the court, took his free throws and made both. He went back on defense but the game was stopped on a DeMarcus Cousins foul, which allowed Thompson to be replaced.
Here's Klay Thompson needing help just to get off the court, going down the hall, slowly starting to be able to walk under his own power, then reversing course to go shoot those FT's. This is amazing. pic.twitter.com/1TawOxhGBk
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 14, 2019
Thompson then went back into the tunnel to receive medical attention in the locker room. He was shown by ABC trying to run down the tunnel.
Thompson was on fire during the game, living up to his “Game 6 Klay” moniker. He had 30 points on 8-for-12 shooting, including 10-for-10 at the line when he left the game.
Klay Thompson sent a cool tribute to Kevin Durant on Instagram Thursday ahead of Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Durant suffered a torn Achilles tendon early in Game 5 of the series on Monday, which will keep him out for several months. He tried to play through a calf injury in the game and was giving the Golden State Warriors everything he had after previously not playing since May 8. His teammates felt awful about what happened and are trying to show how they feel about him.
Here’s the post by Thompson, who also called for the fans to be supportive for the team’s final home game at Oracle Arena in Oakland before the move to the new Chase Center in San Francisco.
View this post on Instagram
Gameday, and it’s obviously a big one. But DubNation, I need you to reflect on the fact that we would not be in this position if it weren’t for this man and his sacrifices. He’s the reason there are banners hanging in the rafters of Oracle. I’m gonna need every Dubs fan in the building tonight to bring the same fire K brought everyday to the court !! It’s not gonna be the same running out that tunnel without u bro. We all know this is a minor set back for a major comeback !! Nothing can impede this mans greatness. Speaking of oracle, let’s lay it all out there tonight in honor of the of the 47 years in this beautiful building . Let’s get it DubNation! #doitforK #onelastdance #webelieve
A post shared by Klay Thompson (@klaythompson) on
“Gameday, and it’s obviously a big one. But DubNation, I need you to reflect on the fact that we would not be in this position if it weren’t for this man and his sacrifices. He’s the reason there are banners hanging in the rafters of Oracle. I’m gonna need every Dubs fan in the building tonight to bring the same fire K brought everyday to the court !! It’s not gonna be the same running out that tunnel without u bro. We all know this is a minor set back for a major comeback !! Nothing can impede this mans greatness.
Speaking of oracle, let’s lay it all out there tonight in honor of the of the 47 years in this beautiful building . Let’s get it DubNation! #doitforK #onelastdance #webelieve” Thompson wrote.
He threw out basically every rallying cry he could think of. He used Durant’s injury, the final game at Oracle, and even the “we believe” mantra — a reference to the famous 2007 Warriors team.
The Warriors have no shortage of inspiration sources for Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.
Kawhi Leonard brought us one of the funniest memes of the year when he broke out an awkward laugh during his introductory press conference with the Toronto Raptors, and there are some who think Klay Thompson took a shot at him over it on Sunday.
While speaking with reporters in advance of Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Thompson was asked a question about whether he thinks he will be able to bring some of his typical Game 6 heroics to Game 5 with the Golden State Warriors facing elimination. He began his response with a sarcastic laugh, and it was one that sounded extremely familiar.
Klay Thompson copied Kawhi’s laugh perfectly 😂 pic.twitter.com/vqz1VESHeq
— Cole Topham (@HamAnalysis) June 9, 2019
Compare that with Leonard’s laugh from back in September, which you can see at the 25-second mark below:
Kawhi shares some laughs at Media Day: "I'm a fun guy" 😆
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 24, 2018
If you saw all the Twitter reactions to Leonard’s laugh, it isn’t that hard to believe that Thompson was poking fun at Kawhi. He better be careful, however, because Leonard has already looked possessed on the court. The last thing anyone on the Golden State side needs to do is motivate him further.