Klay Thompson would easily pick up a more lucrative offer elsewhere once he decides to test the market in 2019. He’s a perennial All-Star, former All-NBA shooting guard, and one-half of the deadliest backcourt in basketball. Unfortunately for potential suitors, Golden State is now making an effort to make sure their best shooter won’t be available in the market by that time.

Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic dropped a huge front-office scoop this weekend, reporting that Golden State and Klay Thompson are already in the preliminary stages of a potential contract extension.

The report revealed that both parties are negotiating for a multi-year contract extension worth $102 million over four years - $85 million less than the amount of money Thompson is projected to receive in the open market next year.

The NBA insider clarified that there’s no assurance Thompson will sign that team-friendly deal this summer. Nevertheless, the initial extension talks between the Warriors and Thompson’s camp are a nice step toward retaining the services of the prolific shooter.

The Lakers are watching!

There will be plenty of ball clubs lining up for Thompson once he becomes a free agent. The Los Angeles Lakers are one of those big-market franchises that have been eyeing the sharpshooter for quite some time.

There are several factors for why the Lakers would pursue Klay in free agency. Thompson’s father, Mychal, won two championships as a member of the Showtime Lakers in the 80s. Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson is also a fan of Klay’s game. In fact, he once mentioned Thompson in the same breath as LeBron James as the best all-around players in the game.

The Lakers put Thompson high on their free agency wish list alongside other 2019 free agency class stars Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, and Kawhi Leonard. The front office's plan is to use the two max slots for LeBron or George this summer. If the two stars are unavailable, the Lakers will either sign other players on one-year deals or preserve the cap space until 2019.

Shooter’s sacrifice

However, with the report that the Warriors are now talking with Thompson for a possible contract extension, the Lakers might have to put more focus on attracting the other targets. It looks like Thompson wants to stay in a title-hunt mode for the remainder of his career, and he knows that there are only a handful of teams that could put him in that position.

In a post-game interview with TNT’s “Inside the NBA” crew after dropping 28 points against the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of 2018 Western Conference Finals, Thompson addressed the elephant in the room when it comes to playing alongside bigger stars like Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. The four-time NBA All-Star said it doesn’t bother him if people consider him the third or fourth important players on the Warriors roster, as long as they keep on winning.

Below is the full interview with Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Kenny Smith.

Thompson’s answer might have shown to everybody why he’s staying in Bay Area for a foreseeable future, even if he gets a smaller piece of the pie. Klay just wants to win more titles, and he doesn’t care whether Durant, Curry, or Draymond Green gets most of the credit. He knows what they are doing now in Golden State is pretty special. It has the makings of a dynasty that could rival the runs of the 90s Chicago Bulls, Showtime Lakers, and the early Celtics era. He doesn’t want to go elsewhere because Thompson is a winner.