Steven A. Smith believes Lakers should pursue Klay Thompson over Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard in free agency

Klay Thompson, Lakers

Smith strongly holds that Los Angeles should target Thompson ahead of Durant and Leonard in free agency.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Following a huge offseason that was capped by the acquisition of All-Star forward LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers have positioned themselves to be major players in free agency next summer. 

There will be several marquee players available that could help the Lakers push forward into being championship contenders for the 2018-19 campaign. With that in mind, Stephen A. Smith on Monday during ESPN’s First Take stated that he believes that Los Angeles should target Golden State Warriors All-Star guard Klay Thompson over all the other available talent such as Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant

Thompson is currently in the final year of his four-year, $68.9 million deal with the Warriors and is headed toward becoming an unrestricted free agent next July. However, he has expressed a strong interest in re-signing long-term with the Warriors to spend his entire career with the Warriors. This should put them in a much better position to ink him to a new deal prior to that point or even next summer when he will be on the open market. 

If he does head into the open market, the Lakers do present an intriguing landing spot for him as would have the chance to take up a grander offensive role alongside James while being able to play for the team that his father, Mychal Thompson, did during his NBA career. The Lakers would also have the opportunity to offer him a max contract that would appease his financial desires on his next deal. 

Thompson is one of the league’s best players as a legitimate two-way talent that is an elite defender and a top 3-point marksman in the NBA. He has averaged at least 20 points in each of the last four years while shooting above 40 percent in each of his first seven years in the league. Ultimately, there is much that could still change until then but it does possibly put the Lakers on the table as a potential landing spot were Thompson to choose to play elsewhere. 

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Bob Garcia IV

Staff Writer at Sports Out West
Bob Garcia IV is a sports journalist from Southern California. He's currently the Los Angeles Lakers beat writer for Sports Out West. He is also currently covering the NBA and NFL for ClutchPoints. He was previously the beat writer for LA Rams Report for Scout.com, which is a website dedicated to covering the Rams. Lastly, he was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarciaivsports.


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