Since the Los Angeles Lakers traded for Anthony Davis on June 18, the attention has unfortunately been on the team’s cap space heading into free agency on June 30.
With the Davis trade set to be completed on July 6, the Lakers would only have $23.7 million instead of $32.5 million, which was viewed as oversight by them.
However, there was a path to maintaining their max-contract slot by trading Mortiz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones to the Washington Wizards. In addition, Davis waived his $4 million trade kicker to complete the process.
Armed with a max-contract slot again, Klay Thompson reportedly will listen to the Lakers if the Golden State Warriors do not offer him a max deal when free agency begins, according to Brad Turner of Los Angeles Times:
Sources: If the Warriors don’t offer guard Klay Thompson a max $190 million deal on Sunday when free agency opens, he will listen to both LA teams, the Lakers and Clippers. Lakers back in the runnings because they now have max slot of $32 million after today’s trade.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) June 28, 2019
Although Thompson wants to re-sign with the Warriors, the 29-year-old reportedly had ‘no plans’ to give them a discount back in May, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN:
Thompson has been open about the fact he wants to stay with the Warriors for years to come. However, league sources told ESPN’s Zach Lowe earlier this season that Thompson has no plans to take a discount, despite the massive sneaker endorsement deal he signed with Anta. Thompson could sign a five-year, $188 million deal this summer — and if he makes an All-NBA team, he’d be eligible for a supermax deal that would pay him $221 million.
Despite Thompson suffering a torn ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors and is expected to miss most of the 2019-20 NBA season, it would be a complete shock if the Warriors did not offer him that.
Originally the No. 11 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Thompson turned the Warriors into a dynasty by winning three championships in five consecutive NBA Finals appearances.
If Thompson is somehow available to the Lakers, he is perhaps one of the few players they should offer a full max deal to. Other than Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving, Los Angeles would be better off signing 2-3 role players.