What’s Next For The Warriors After Klay & KD’s Injuries?

Warriors guard Klay Thompson suffered a torn ACL in his left knee at the 2:22 mark in the third quarter of Game 6.

The injury came just three days after doctors diagnosed his teammate Kevin Durant with a torn achilles. Both injuries are expected to take at least nine months of rehab.

BREAKING: Klay Thompson suffered a torn ACL in Game 6, per @wojespn pic.twitter.com/pln57YtZXl

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 14, 2019

The injury occurred when Raptors guard Danny Green fouled Thompson on what appeared to be a routine breakaway dunk. Referees determined that there was no malice on the play, and it was ultimately deemed a common foul.

Klay immediately went down in pain before the staff helped him halfway to the locker room.

“When Klay goes down and is out for the game, it’s just sort of a, ‘You got to be kidding me. Like, this has to stop,”‘ Steve Kerr said. “But it’s just the way it’s gone. I don’t know if it’s related to five straight seasons of playing a 100-plus games and just all the wear and tear, but it’s devastating.”

Golden State has been to the Finals in each of the past five years. According to Second Spectrum, Thompson has run for 1,267 on-the-court miles in that same span, the most in the NBA.

While he was in the hallway, someone notified Thompson that he would be automatically disqualified from the game if he elected to not shoot the free throws. At that point, unaware of the severity of the damage, he turned around and headed back to the free throw line.

After tearing his ACL, Klay Thompson came back onto the court to hit two free throws 😳 pic.twitter.com/dyUEcpFm4R

— ESPN (@espn) June 14, 2019

“He might be the toughest guy I’ve ever seen in my life,” center Kevon Looney said. “I know he was in a lot of pain when he went down. I’ve never seen him scream or show emotion like that.”

After sinking both free throws to bring his point total to 30 for the night, the Warriors committed a foul to stop play as Thompson jogged back to the locker room where he would not return. The Raptors secured the game and clinched the first NBA championship in Toronto’s franchise history.

.@warriors what can we say… The highest level of respect for a hard fought series. 🤜🏽🤛🏽 pic.twitter.com/W9FPp63Svs

— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) June 14, 2019

Thompson has played at a consistent level since he was drafted with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft. His point total increased each of his first six years in the league.

“Everybody thinks it’s kind of the end of us,” said Draymond Green. “We’re not done yet. We lost this year. Clearly just wasn’t our year, but that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes… We’ll be back.”

After a series of catastrophic injuries, the Warriors will have to some reason to worry about the immediate future. Although Durant and Thompson are certainly in Golden State’s plans, the financial implications that they will have to deal with are very serious.

In what was previously considered one of the most prolific offseasons in recent memory in terms of free agents and potential trades, the injuries to KD and Klay may quiet things down a bit.

The salary cap for the 2019-2020 season will be set at $109M, an $8M increase from the 2018-2019 season.

The first order of business is to decide whether they plan to re-sign both Durant and Thompson.

“It is my understanding in talking to people with the Warriors organization is that their intention is to continue and offer Kevin Durant a full five-year max contract and to offer Klay a full five-year max contract,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said.

Durant recently underwent a successful surgery for the repair of his achilles tendon.

Breaking: KD confirms he’s torn his Achilles: “Surgery was today and it was a success, EASY MONEY”

(via @KDTrey5) pic.twitter.com/6hkUsRNSbr

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 12, 2019

Durant is still under a player option for next year for $31.5M. He’ll have until June 24 to exercise or decline that option. If he elects to decline that option, he will likely be offered the supermax deal worth $221M over five years. Thompson is eligible to sign a five-year, $188 million contract. Had he made an All-NBA team we would’ve been due for the same contract as Durant.

It’s widely accepted that Durant is unlikely to play next season, which means the Warriors could potentially spend over $70M in one season for two players that won’t play a game for them.

With the luxury tax set at $132M, the Warriors will have upwards of $350M on their total payroll including the luxury taxes. Warriors officials expect that the revenue from their move to the Chase Center in San Francisco will cover most, if not all of those costs.

Due to financial restraints, the Warriors will not be able to sign any significant free agents outside of the organization, so they must do their best to secure the two all-stars while they can.

Just spoke with Klay Thompson's father, Mychal, who said there's "no question" Klay will re-sign with the Warriors. Golden State is expected to still offer him a full five-year maximum deal.

— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) June 14, 2019

DeMarcus Cousins, Kevon Looney, Jonas Jerebko, and Andrew Bogut will become unrestricted free agents, while Quinn Cook and Jordan Bell are restricted.

The decisions that the organization make this offseason will determine if the Warriors era is over or simply on pause.

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