Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson is one of several upcoming free agents currently linked to the Los Angeles Lakers. The son of former Lakers star Mychal Thompson, the two-time NBA champion and four-time All-Star has become one of the best players in the league at his position.
The 28-year-old former Washington State standout is considered as one of the best shooters and scorers in the NBA right now. Thompson has averaged more than 20 points per game in the past three seasons, but this year, his scoring slightly dipped to 19.7 a night despite having a slight increase in playing time.
Playing with two formidable scorers and former NBA MVPs in Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry may have already taken a toll on Thompson’s shot opportunities. With that, rumors have emerged that he may opt to move to another team where he can showcase his talent more rather than being a team’s third option on offense.
However, Thompson himself said that he plans to stay with the Warriors for the rest of his career, as per the Mercury News. The former Three-Point Contest champion reportedly said that he “absolutely” wants to remain with Golden State when he enters unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2019.
The report noted that Thompson even disclosed in a previous interview that he is willing to take a “hometown-discount contract” just to be able to keep the Warriors as financially flexible as possible if they decide to retain him.
“Playing for one team your whole career is definitely special,” Thompson said. “Only so many guys have done it in professional sports, so it’ll be a goal of mine. Hopefully, it all works out.”
Still, rumors remain of a potential Los Angeles transfer for Thompson when the time comes.
FanSided’s Lake Show Life recently listed some of the Lakers’ top free agent targets in 2018 and 2019 and Thompson’s name was brought up as one of the honorable mentions in the said list.
The blog said that Thompson would be a “huge addition” to the Lakers in terms of “scoring and defense” playing alongside Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle in the starting lineup. It also noted that the Warriors could be facing the same situation the Oklahoma City Thunder had in 2012 as Thompson’s free agency approaches.
OKC had to trade James Harden during that time as both sides failed to reach a contract extension agreement. Harden was the third option behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook when the Thunder decided to trade him away to the Houston Rockets.
The Warriors might do the same as they would more likely choose to find a suitable return for Thompson instead of losing him for nothing in free agency. If Golden State makes Thompson available in the trade market, then expect the Lakers to forward a substantial offer to the Warriors.