A one-time Olympian with Team USA in 2016, Klay Thompson has four NBA titles. GETTY IMAGES

The Golden State Warriors and former Team USA’s star shooting guard has opted to partake in the Caribbean squad’s practice sessions held in Houston this week while speculation swirls regarding his future with the seven-time NBA Champions.

One half of the famed ‘Splash Brothers’ duo has taken an unexpected turn after rumours started increasing last week that he might wear another professional basketball jersey next season than the one he has donned for the past 11 years. His basketball sibling, Stephen Curry, is pretty much the face of the California franchise but Klay Thompson, a mainstay in Steve Kerr’s title-winning teams of the past, could very well be on the bubble for the first time in his stellar career.

Be it as it may, the sharpshooter has gone full enigmatic mode in the past week, deciding to join the Bahamian national basketball team for its training camp in Houston while opting to delete the Warriors from his Instagram social media account.

Set to become a free agent come 30 June, Thompson intends to at least keep his legs fresh by attending the Bahamas’ training camp in Houston, but almost definitely won’t compete with the team in the Olympic qualifying tournament scheduled for early July in Spain, as he would first need to be released from USA Basketball and cleared by FIBA to do so.

A one-time Olympian with Team USA in 2016, when he won the gold medal in Rio, the sharpshooter is by rule not allowed to suit up for another country on the international stage unless said steps are taken first. The four-time NBA champion did flirt with the  notion last summer, when he admitted in a public event that he might consider playing for the Caribbean country, citing  his father, former Los Angeles Lakers Mychal Thompson, who was born in the Bahamas, never having that opportunity at the international level; plus the fact that his older brother Mychel is the national team’s assistant coach, a role that he shares with the Warriors.

A one-time Olympian with Team USA, Klay Thompson has four NBA titles. GETTY IMAGES
A one-time Olympian with Team USA, Klay Thompson has four NBA titles. GETTY IMAGES

“When that time comes, I’ll give it serious consideration just because of what the Bahamas has meant to the Thompson family, especially my father,” Thompson said in the Philippines at an event sponsored by Anta, he sporting goods company that Thompson represents and also provides gear for the Bahamian team. “He never had a chance to play for the national team just because they didn’t. They just didn’t have the chance back in the’ 70s or the ’80s. And now my brother’s coaching with them is also very cool. But right now, I’m really focused on the season. And when that time comes next summer, I’ll give it consideration.”

“Next summer” is now. And besides some goodwill gestures by Team USA and FIBA with the clock ticking, the 34-year-old would also need to expedite Bahamian citizenship, which doesn’t seem likely at this stage, in order to compete in the upcoming Paris 2024 Games with the Caribbean country. The Olympic ticket isn’t a given either, as the team would need to seal the deal in the qualifying tournament scheduled to begin on 2 July in Valencia. It’s entrenched in a six-team bracket with hometown Spain, Angola, Lebanon, Finland and Poland, with only the winner making it out to the Olympics.

Portland Trail Blazers center DeAndre Ayton is the most recognizable name on the Caribbean squad, along with other notable NBA players like Philadelphia 76ers guard Buddy Hield and Phoenix Suns guard Eric Gordon. Olympic rosters need to be set well in advance of the Paris games set to start on 26 July. Before that, the Bahamas have two exhibition games scheduled in Greece against the home team, possibly led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, on 27 June and Montenegro on 25 June.

After coming back from two devastating knee injuries, Thompson won the championship with Golden State in 2022, but has struggled since to remain the two-way superstar that he once was next to Curry. Still considered the second ‘Splash Brother’, he averaged 17.9 points in 77 games this past season, in which he was demoted from the starting lineup, and ended up shooting 38.7% from three-point range. Despite his limited duty, he still was able to make 268 triples, fourth-most in the league.

It is more likely that he uses the Houston training camp to gear up towards the upcoming NBA season or showcase his health status to possible bidders once he enters free agency, than to really attempt a new Olympic bid with the Bahamas. Regardless, things got even weirder on Saturday, when Thompson mysteriously opted to unfollow the Warriors on Instagram and deleted almost all team-affiliated posts dating back to April 2022, their last title season.