Klay and Kawhi Still Sweating over Contracts

Klay and Kawhi

Two of last season’s better performers are heading into the season with growing question marks over their heads.

Klay Thompson had a breakout year with the Golden State Warriors, cementing his place as the second splash brother alongside the phenomenal Steph Curry.

But their meteoric run was finally put to the sword by the San Antonio Spurs, led by a surprising figure, Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard was previously seen as little more than an effective forward on the defensive end when he first joined the Spurs, now he’s considered one of the hottest prospects at the small forward position.

His achievements were recognised after the Spurs clinched yet another NBA Championship at the end of last season, claiming the NBA Playoffs MVP award ahead of the likes of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.

Both players are now household names in their respective cities, Thompson for his phenomenal shooting, Leonard for his all-round phenomenal play in the NBA Finals, shutting down Lebron James on a consistent basis.

So why are they now sweating over new deals? Surely the teams they play for are looking to tie down their long term security. The issue comes down to the NBA’s upcoming TV cash deal.

With added cash (we’re talking billions) comes bigger salaries, with bigger salaries comes all-star level players. Both teams are in a sticky situation now, as both players want max deals.

Klay and Kawhi 1

Both Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard are after max deals, are they worth it?

But if they grab both players for below-max deals ahead of the cash injection set to come next year then they’ll have more cap room for another big name player.

In this writer’s opinion, both players are probably worth big deals, max deals on the other hand? Debatable.

Whilst Thompson is the best two way shooting guard in the league, he isn’t proven enough to warrant the money he wants. Leonard on the other hand is extremely effective in bursts, but is yet to show his skills for an extended period, say for a season.

The last thing either team wants to do is sign a player to a max deal and have them plateau in terms of performance.

The real question now comes down to the respective GMs of the Warriors and the Spurs, do they fold and risk signing a ‘dud’ only to see a legitimate all-star player pass them by next year? Or do they risk losing some of the most promising talents in the league for a saving?

This is why I’m a writer, not an NBA GM…

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Luke Hatfield is the creator and editor of BouncyOrangeBall, with an extensive knowledge of the NBA and basketball in general.

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