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OAKLAND – He could have spent his days wondering if he'd be traded and his nights wondering if he'd receive a contract extension offering lifetime financial security.
Fortunately for the Warriors, Klay Thompson was much too busy for that. He was occupied with trying to prove his worth among the best players in the world for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup.
Thompson by all accounts succeeded, earning global respect through his work ethic and talent and production.
[RELATED: West hits Thompson here for the long haul]
Through the first three days of Warriors training camp, his diligence appears to be paying off. Thompson is leaner and seems meaner. He has expanded his game. And he remains as tireless as ever.
"His improvement is remarkable," executive board member Jerry West said.
"Klay has been really good, just efficient and confident, not trying to do too much," coach Steve Kerr said.
One of Thompson's new teammates, Leandro Barbosa, puts his admiration in more colorful terms.
"Klay is a pain in the ass," said the Brazil native, who studied Thompson in the FIBA World Cup. "I'm sorry about the word, but he's a pain in the ass. It's hard to guard that guy. He has the mindset to shoot the ball and he (shoots a high percentage). He's an All-Star to me. Even though he never got called to be an All-Star, he's an All-Star to me."
Being named to the All-Star team is one form of certification Thompson is seeking. Another is compensation. He'd like a contract extension putting his $3.076 million salary in line with his fellow starters, who earn an average of about $12.5 million.
Thompson is was and is too busy chasing it all, with a vengeance, for his emotions to get caught up in the hypotheticals of potential trade (didn't happen) and whether a contract is in his near future (probably is).
The 6-foot-7 shooting guard is, in a phrase, feeling it.
"My confidence should be high,'' he said. "It's my fourth year in the league, my fourth training camp. There are no more adjustments, really. That adjustment from college to the pros and then from bench guy to starter was probably the two biggest ones I had to make. Now it's probably the most comfortable I've felt since I've been in the league.
"I feel like I'm the most athletic I've been in my career, with age and getting stronger. It's something I've really focused on over these last months. My jumper's always going to be the staple of my game, but you can use that to your advantage. A pump fake or two, and you can get to the rim easy. Being with those other guys, in FIBA, I learned a lot from them, how they've been so successful getting inside."
Former coach Mark Jackson often said Thompson might be the second-best player on the team, behind All-Star point guard Stephen Curry. I doubt Kerr would argue that, and I'm certain West would not.
It was West and Curry, after all, who advised CEO Joe Lacob and general manager Bob Myers that Thompson was too valuable to include in any of those summer proposals put forth to acquire Timberwolves forward Kevin Love.
Though Thompson said he appreciates being held in such high regard, it’s not enough.
He spent seven weeks over the summer working among the best and flourished. And he'll spend the next four weeks with his teammates, proving he's ready to rise to another level.
Watching Thompson, listening to him, it's evident he longs for the season to start. The trade talk is behind him. And as the contract negotiations continue, it's as if he's wearing blinders.