This summer, two of the Golden State Warriors’ top players of the past few years — forward Kevin Durant and shooting guard Klay Thompson — will be eligible for free agency. But while Durant has widely been rumored to be headed to another team, with the New York Knicks frequently mentioned as a possible landing spot, most league observers are expecting Thompson to remain in the Bay Area and sign a new contract with the Warriors. This may have been further reinforced over the weekend, as Thompson’s father, former Los Angeles Lakers backup center Mychal Thompson, commented on the occasional rumors suggesting that the Lakers could make a push for his son during the 2019 offseason.
In an interview with The Orange County Register published on Saturday, Mychal Thompson talked about how he shows support for his son, while also “[giving] him his space” and being as hands-off as he could. The elder Thompson also aired his thoughts on the possibility that his son will be pursued by the Lakers, among other teams, and told the publication that he still expects Klay to remain with the Golden State Warriors, even if the five-time All-Star shooting guard does indeed enjoy returning home to Southern California to visit his family.
“He’ll be happy here, he loves the good weather. I always tell him when he’s retired, he’ll have another 40 years to spend here. He’s in no rush to get back.”
Later on in the interview, Mychal Thompson admitted that he gets “bugged” quite often by people in the Los Angeles area, where he works as a radio color commentator for the Lakers. These people, he suggested, often ask him about whether his son is planning to wear the purple and gold and join forces with LeBron James as the Lakers seek to end their six-season postseason drought in the upcoming 2019-20 campaign.
“I can’t go anywhere,” Mychal told The Orange County Register. “Ultimately it’s a compliment: Lakers fans want him to play here. But I don’t think that way. I think the Lakers are gonna be fine. I don’t see Klay coming out here as a savior.”
— Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) April 22, 2019
Although the Lakers will indeed have enough salary cap space to offer Klay Thompson a maximum contract when he becomes eligible for free agency this summer, ClutchPoints remarked that it remains highly unlikely that the star guard will leave Golden State, a team he has won three NBA championships with, for Los Angeles, given the Lakers’ long absence from the playoffs. Furthermore, Klay’s past comments have suggested that he hopes to be able to play his entire NBA career with the Warriors, even if he could potentially earn more money switching teams in free agency.
As quoted in a report from the East Bay Times, Thompson told reporters in August 2018 that he wants to be a “Warrior for life,” just as he had hinted at several times in the past. While he also acknowledged the fact that he will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, the Warriors star said that he’d “definitely” be interested in listening to other teams’ offers, but added that his top preference would still be to remain in Golden State.