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The months and weeks and days have dwindled to hours for the Warriors to utilize their exclusive negotiating window with fourth-year guard Klay Thompson.
Though negotiations continued Friday morning, they can’t go beyond 9 PDT Friday night. If nothing transpires in the meantime, Thompson will become a restricted free agent next July, inviting the kind of intrigue the Warriors have managed to avoid under CEO Joe Lacob.
The fourth-year guard will make $3.08 million this season but is seeking an extension beyond 2015 in the $16-$17 million-per-year range. The Warriors, offering $13 million three weeks ago, have raised their offer to something slightly above $15 million, according to multiple sources.
If there is no deal, Thompson will become a restricted free agent next July. The Warriors have the right to match any offer.
As long as the numbers are flexible – and other clauses and incentives can be agreed upon – there is the possibility of a deal. Ambitious teams – and Lacob's ambition is boundless – usually find a way to bridge such a relatively narrow gap.
But even as the team communications boss Raymond Ridder spent time early this week making arrangements for the possibility of a news conference – conceding he must be prepared at a moment's notice – several sources indicated little had changed as of Thursday night and that a deal was far from complete.
And yet, as the minutes tick away, there is reasonable belief something still could be finalized.
There is the fact that Lacob, a man of immense drive, says the goal is to hoist a championship banner. He spared no expense in completely revamping the coaching staff, hiring new head coach Steve Kerr and highly regarded veteran assistants Alvin Gentry and Ron Adams.
The CEO also has been proactive with contracts in each of the past two extension periods, re-signing Stephen Curry in October 2012 and Andrew Bogut in October 2013. Insofar as each had one season left on his contract, it made a statement about securing core players. Lacob kept them off the market.
Thompson is, by all accounts, a core player. He is widely considered no worse than the No. 2 player on the team, behind Curry, who last season was a starter in the All-Star Game. Thompson this summer raised his profile with a terrific showing as a member of victorious Team USA in the FIBA World Cup.
Lacob has said he plans to keep Thompson. Executive board member Jerry West, who recommended the team draft Thompson in 2011, presumes the 6-foot-7 guard will be re-signed. Kerr has made clear his desire to have Thompson on the squad. Andre Iguodala and Curry have publicly urged ownership to make a deal.
Then there are the summer signings of other players, none of which is more highly regarded than Thompson.
The Jazz and guard Alec Burks agreed Thursday night to a four-year deal worth $45 million. The Hornets and guard Kemba Walker on Tuesday struck a deal worth $48 over four years. The Nuggets and forward Kenneth Faried agreed three weeks ago to a pact worth $52 million over four years.
The Cavaliers and star point guard Kyrie Irving agreed in July to a five-year extension worth almost $90 million.
Thompson's quest for a salary somewhere between that of Faried and that of Irving has kept Warriors general manager Bob Myers and Thompson's agent, Bill Duffy of Walnut Creek, in discussions for months, over the phone and in person.