Despite the emergence of numerous “Super Teams,” the Golden State Warriors are still the top favorite to win the NBA championship title next season after succeeding to retain their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green. However, things are expected to change in the summer of 2019 when two of their superstars, Thompson and Durant, are set to become unrestricted free agents.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob has already revealed their plan to give Klay Thompson a contract extension to prevent him from hitting the free agency market. However, though the offer hasn’t officially been made, Thompson is expected to decline the extension since he can earn bigger money in 2019 offseason. According to Metro USA, the All-Star shooting guard is expected to seek a maximum deal, and if the Warriors refuse to give his demand, Thompson may consider entertaining offers from other NBA teams.
One of the NBA teams who could try to steal Thompson from the Warriors is the Los Angeles Lakers. After purposely filling their roster with one-year contracts, the Lakers are currently in a strong position to create enough salary cap space for a maximum free agent next summer.
“With the organization trending upwards once again and with the best player on the planet wearing purple and gold, the Lakers will be able to create one of the strongest pitches for free agents next summer. Not only will you have a chance to play in one of the nicest, most glamorous cities in the country, but you’ll get to play alongside one of the greatest players of all-time. Expect them to be in play not just for Klay Thompson, but for Kawhi Leonard and even Kemba Walker as well.”
— Hoops Coach News (@HoopsCoachNews) August 10, 2018
With their goal to return to title contention, the Lakers obviously need another superstar who can play alongside LeBron James. The potential acquisition of Thompson will lessen the load on James’ shoulder and will undeniably boost the Lakers on both ends of the floor. In 73 games he played last season, Thompson averaged 20 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists on 48.8 percent shooting from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc.
The departure of Thompson in Golden State will dramatically change the NBA landscape as it will make the future NBA seasons less predictable. However, as of now, it is hard to imagine Thompson leaving the Warriors to team up with James. Still, expect rumors to circulate around Thompson between now and the 2019 NBA free agency.