Warriors ‘Big 3’ Could Be Broken Up After NBA Play-In Loss

Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The Golden State Warriors faced a disappointing early exit from the NBA playoffs, and for Klay Thompson, it could mark the end of an era.

After the Sacramento Kings defeated the Warriors 118-94 in their play-in game, Thompson, visibly dejected, shared embraces with teammates and staff before leaving the court. This moment followed what may have been his final appearance in a Warriors uniform as he heads into unrestricted free agency.

“That’s life,” Thompson said. “Had so much success here, I’m not going to let whatever future happens make me salty about what I’ve been able to accomplish in a Warriors uniform. I don’t let that seep in at all.”

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Warriors coach Steve Kerr expressed the team’s desire to retain Thompson, stating, “We need Klay back. He still has good years left, and he means so much to this franchise. We desperately want him back.”

Thompson, who struggled in the game with 0 points on 0-of-10 shooting, reflected earlier in the day on his tenure with the Warriors, saying, “I’ve had so much success here, I’m not going to let future possibilities sour my accomplishments.”

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Despite his poor performance, Thompson had a notable season, culminating in what he described as the “best stretch of basketball of the year,” averaging 21.2 points on 48.1% shooting over the last weeks of the season. This was a significant comeback for Thompson, who played the most games this season since his injuries in 2018-19.

The Warriors’ early playoff exit adds to the speculation around the future of the team’s core trio—Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green—who have collectively achieved immense success, including four NBA championships and the most wins in a regular season.

Curry commended Thompson for his resilience, stating, “We go through so much over 82 games, and seeing him turn his season around was more important than one tough game.”

As contract negotiations between Thompson and the Warriors stalled at the start of the season and never fully restarted, there is uncertainty about his return.

Green remains optimistic, emphasizing the organization’s history of respect and loyalty, and expressing confidence that Thompson will remain with the team.

“I don’t think there’s any scenario where Klay leaves, and that’s the best decision for this team and organization,” Green said. “(The organization) has shown nothing but respect, loyalty, love and trust. I’ve got no reason to think, oh man, they’re not going to do right by Klay. I have no reason to think that our ownership group isn’t going to take care of us the way we have taken care of this organization.”

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With changes likely on the horizon to keep the Warriors competitive in a tough Western Conference, both the team and its players face critical decisions about their future paths. Kerr acknowledged the challenge, suggesting that the offseason will be a time of reflection and decision-making for the organization.

“This is life. This is how it works. You don’t get to stay on top forever,” Kerr said. “We’ve got an offseason where we’ve got a lot to think about.”

As Curry put it, reflecting on the immediate aftermath of their season’s end, “It’s raw right now… I just want to win, whatever that means.” The Warriors now enter an offseason filled with speculation and potential significant shifts in their roster.

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