Despite suffering an ACL tear in Game 6 of this year’s NBA Finals and the expectation that he may miss most of the 2019-20 season because of this injury, Klay Thompson is still attracting a lot of attention from rival teams. While it had mostly been predicted that Thompson would remain with the Golden State Warriors and sign a new contract with the team this summer, the latest rumors suggest that he might consider joining either one of his two hometown teams — the Los Angeles Lakers or the Clippers — if he doesn’t get the contract he desires.
On Thursday, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times took to Twitter, where he provided the latest on Thompson’s situation as an incoming free agent. Citing unnamed sources, Turner said that the 30-year-old shooting guard will “listen” to both Los Angeles-based teams if Golden State doesn’t offer him the maximum five-year, $190 million deal when free agency officially begins on Sunday evening. Turner also noted that the Lakers are “back in the runnings [sic]” due to a pair of moves that could leave them with up to $32 million worth of salary cap space for new free agent signings.
As explained by Bleacher Report, Anthony Davis, who was recently acquired by the Lakers from the New Orleans Pelicans in a blockbuster trade, is now expected to waive “part or all” of his $4.1 million trade kicker in order to give the team “more flexibility to acquire additional help.” In addition, Los Angeles will reportedly be sending three seldom-used players — Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones — to the Washington Wizards in a deal designed to free up even more cap space.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers have often been mentioned as a team that could have enough cap space to afford not just one, but two superstar free agents this offseason. Per Spotrac, the Clippers currently have a shade over $54 million available to spend on new free agent signings.
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) June 28, 2019
In a report that mainly tackled how Klay Thompson could fit in with the Lakers if they sign him as a free agent, Silver Screen and Roll opined that there are “few players” apart from Thompson who could be a better fit playing on the same starting lineup as Davis and LeBron James. The five-time All-Star guard, after all, had another solid campaign in 2018-19, averaging 21.5 points per game, shooting 40.2 percent from three-point range, and making the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team.
On the other hand, Silver Screen and Roll also noted that it would be “silly” to expect Golden State to let Thompson get away in free agency, even if there’s a possibility the team might offer him less than a maximum contract due to his ACL injury. The outlet cited previous comments from Warriors general manager Bob Myers, who had recently vowed to do his best to re-sign both Thompson and Kevin Durant despite their respective injuries.
As for the Clippers, The Inquisitr reported earlier this week that Thompson, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, might consider meeting with the team if he doesn’t get a max contract offer from Golden State. However, Yahoo Sports’ Ben Weinrib posited that the Clippers, at this point, are “not on the same level” as the James and Davis-led Lakers as a championship contender for next season, thus making them a less plausible destination for the 29-year-old shooting guard.