Death Of A Dynasty: Detailing Klay Thompson’s Warriors Exit

Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors, NBA Rumors, Orlando Magic
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It was a fever dream before it wasn’t. For fans of the Golden State Warriors, the last decade has been the perfect situation: four NBA championships, an all-time great, dynastic run, and impeccable chemistry. But those foundations have gone by the wayside over the last two seasons.

What began as a joyous championship celebration quickly became the final days of a blazing inferno. With a twin vision of extending the dynasty while developing a core of Jordan Poole, Moses Moody, and Jonathan Kuminga, both sides fell off the rails. First came the Draymond Green incident. From there, the team never really recovered. An erroneous regular season, where they finished with four total wins on the road, sent them to a Game 7 masterclass from Stephen Curry…in the first round.

A routine defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers, and Steve Kerr had his first playoff exit before the NBA Finals. Since then, the situation has gone from bad to worse. The Poole trade for Chris Paul did not turn out great, and the team found itself in the Play-In Tournament. A 0-10 from 3 night for Klay Thompson was essentially the end of the Warriors dynasty.

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Amid all the losing was the Draymond Green situation, where the Poole punch, Rudy Gobert chokehold, Domantas Sabonis stomp, and Jusuf Nurkic arm drag, along with the general histrionics that come with him, all were a constant source of bother for fans and management alike.

It was clear: Change was needed.

Warriors Management Details the Problem

Owner Joe Lacob made the Warriors’ offseason plan clear early in the season: getting under the luxury tax. The owners needed to stop the flow for a team that had spent much of its tenure well near the top of the tax bills, including the largest luxury tax bill in NBA history at $380 million. Throughout the year, contract negotiations between Draymond and the team were a constant news topic. Eventually, the two sides agreed, but not without consequences.

The youngsters weren’t getting the proper time to develop, and the old guard wasn’t producing at the same level. Finding a middle ground was proving to be impossible for Coach Kerr. None of the initial young trio had grown as expected. A bloated salary cap without the right pieces had Golden State struggling. Then, the big rotational change came.

Klay Thompson was moved to the bench in favor of rookie Brandin Podziemski. While Klay’s play improved coming off the bench, the team’s attitude was clear. Thompson didn’t factor into the futuHowever, signs were clear even before Kerr’s clever.

Longtime GM Bob Myers leaving the team in pursuit of broadcasting options was a shocker. The man credited with building the dynasty from the ground up was out of the building. The jury on the new administration? Still out.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks Updates

As losses continued to mount, the team had no clear answer. The rejuvenated Andrew Wiggins had become an albatross; the only visible solution was blowing it up. But then came the shenanigans of this offseason.

New Warriors Management Failed Stephen Curry & Klay Thompson

The presence of a franchise legend and an all-time great like Stephen Curry demands that the team try their level best to allow him to compete. However, in trade packages for Zach Lavine, the decision-making was suspect. As reported, Chicago offered Lavine and a first for Chris Paul and/or Andrew Wiggins, along with salary fillers.

The deal was declined, but Paul was let go with no return a few days later. A promising MIP candidate, Jordan Poole, was essentially dealt with for nothing. Then came the Klay Thompson negotiations. Reports of both parties not finding mutual ground were abundant throughout the season. But with a four-time Champion and franchise icon, it felt like a compromise would come to fruition.

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Unfortunately, as it turns out, it didn’t. The “Killa Klay,” to whom Steph wrote a heartfelt message, agreed to a salary less than the Mid-Level Exception, at 2 years and $20 million, but the Warriors declined.

That, with negotiations first beginning near the max. Reports of owner Joe Lacob inviting the sharpshooter to a game of golf and not discussing contracts were plain outrageous. But not finding a $10 million space for a franchise legend was unfathomable.

Ultimately, Klay went to the Dallas Mavericks on a three-year, $50 million deal. In exchange for one of the greatest shooters in NBA history? A few second-round picks. In an erroneously bad case of asset management, the Warriors failed Thompson. But, with the returns so far, the disservice to Steph might be just as paramount.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks Updates

The team has rebounded fast by signing DeAnthony Melton and Buddy Hield. But those names don’t move the needle on Championship aspirations for the league’s last dynasty. The finger of blame is vehemently pointing towards new GM Mike Dunleavy.

Can he answer the call and find one last Warriors hurrah? Or is the dynasty, as we know it, dead?

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