California Sports

Klay Thompson to fully rejoin Warriors starting lineup soon

Klay Thompson is ramping up his preparations to return to basketball for the Golden State Warriors, and it’s making for some scary hours in the Bay Area. Thompson is set to make his NBA debut this month, after spending more than two years recovering from two devastating injuries.

Thompson was seriously injured in the NBA Finals in 2019 and ruptured his Achilles tendon early in the 2020-21 season. However, his recovery enters the final stretch after a long recuperation period.

Anticipation for Thompson’s return

Videos of Klay Thompson practising and scrimmaging with the Golden State Warriors’ G-League affiliate team have already surfaced. Pre-warm-up drills have also been spotted with the game’s deadliest shooters.

Thompson’s role when he suits up has already been discussed by head coach Steve Kerr. Kerr has a lock on the starting role, which is why Jordan Poole will start the next few games off the bench to prepare the rest of the team. Several Thompson-designed plays are also being resurrected by the Golden State Warriors coaching staff.

The Golden State Warriors have the best record in the NBA with a 27-7 record. Thompson’s return to the lineup will only improve the team’s ceiling and floor. Opposing defenders will have to account for the thirty-year-old shooter’s presence, even if he isn’t back at full power yet.

“I am starting to think about that. Klay’s gonna start when he comes back. I’m not gonna mess around, bring him off the bench for a period of time. I’m not doing any of that. He’s going to start. We’ll see what that means in terms of the rest of the rotation,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr clarified Klay’s return.

It would be fantastic for Curry and Klay fans to see them again on the court together as a team. While the Warriors have players who can match their needs, Klay Thompson’s return is expected to make a significant difference.

Nonetheless, the Warriors’ coach wants to make sure Klay returns to the court when he is fully recovered since they cannot afford to lose such a great player.

Thompson earns millions during Injury

Klay made a lot of money while he was in the game, but since he went down, Thompson has made more money than he did while still playing.

He had earned a total of $78,838,770 throughout his career by the time he was injured. In his first three seasons, Klay’s rookie contract paid him $9,860,320. In 2015, he signed a contract extension that paid him $68,978,450 until the 2018-19 season.

He did, however, sign a new five-year contract with the Warriors in July 2019. He earned $32,742,000 in the 2019-20 season despite missing the full season and made $35,361,360 in the 2020-21 season while ruled out of the season due to his Achilles tendon injury.

Under the contract, Klay continues to collect his salary despite missing another 35 games this season. His adjusted total is $16,211,282. This brings his total earnings while on the sidelines to $84,314,642, which is a significant increase over his earnings from 2011 to 2019.