Following a huge offseason that was capped by the addition of LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to still position themselves to have enough salary cap space to ink a max contract player next summer.
There will be plenty of All-Star talent available in the open market that is set to include the likes of Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who is the in the final year of his four-year, $68.9 million deal. During a recent interview on “ESPNLA Mornings with Keyshawn, LZ and Travis,” Ramona Shelburne of ESPN stated that the Lakers may favor him over All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard in free agency next July. (h/t Silver Screen and Roll)
“In terms of who they target next year, it’s whoever wants to come. “My feeling about it, my sense from just talking to people in and around this (is that) one, it’s a little early, but I think they like Mychal’s boy. I think that would be the guy, in terms of skillset and how that would fit. Obviously Kawhi, he’s a great player as well, but we’ll see if he stays in Toronto now. But I think they like Klay (Thompson).”
At this juncture, Thompson is on pace to hit the free agent market next offseason, but he has expressed interest in working out a new long-term deal with the Warriors along with possibly finishing out his entire career with the franchise. There is a glaringly obvious reason why that would be the case as he has won three NBA titles with the team in four NBA Finals appearances over the last four seasons.
However, the possibility of becoming an unrestricted free agent could be a strong possibility that could see the Lakers enter the picture. Thompson would certainly garner the max contract offer from Los Angeles like he would from any other team given what he brings to the table as one of the best two-way players in the league. He has averaged 20 or more points in each of the last four seasons while shooting 40 percent or better from 3-point range in each year of his career.
What this signals more than anything else is that Thompson is high up on the Lakers’ wishlist of potential targets in free agency next summer.
Bob Garcia IV
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