NBA Free Agent Rumors: Lakers To Show Interest In Warriors Guard Klay Thompson This Offseason
Klay Thompson, Anthony Davis, Lakers, Warriors
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson is in the middle of the final year of his five-year, $190 million extension signed all the way back in 2019. However, he is a much different player than he was when he signed that extension, as two major injuries and natural decline have hindered his game. Back in 2019, the Los Angeles Lakers had interest in Thompson, but he proved himself to be a Warrior for life.

And even as his play declined — shooting a career worst 37.3% from three with the second-worst defensive box plus-minus of his career — his commitment to the Warriors never faded. And he still had moments where the old Thompson showed up. On Thursday, in Thompson’s first game off the bench since March 11, 2012 — his rookie season — he posted 35 points.

But the Warriors have opted not to show the same commitment to him by giving him a contract extension, instead allowing him to hit free agency this summer. And when he does, he should have plenty of interest, including from the Lakers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic via the Pat McAfee Show:

“From everything I’ve been told, Klay Thompson, this has been a stressful year for Klay Thompson. He’s been going through it at different points and I think he’s doing the best he can to get through it. But he’s set to b e a free agent at the end of the season. From everything I’ve been told, I expect him to test the marketplace, I would expect both Florida teams, I would expect both L.A. teams, I would expect potentially a couple East Coast teams to have interest in Klay Thompson. As of right now, unless there’s a miracle extension, he’s gonna test the marketplace and I think the Warriors have understood going into the year after they didn’t extend him that his future is up in the air just for the simple fact that he’s gonna be going into free agency.”

The Warriors clearly felt that if Thompson were to move on in free agency, they could weather the storm. However, for continuity sake, it is surprising that they didn’t extend him. Of course, they allowed Draymond Green to enter free agency last season only to sign him immediately to a four-year deal, but Green and Thompson are two different players with different backstories.

Thompson should have far more league-wide interest than Green had, because even at his worst, he has proven himself to be an effective shooter. 37.3% being his career worst says everything about the kind of career he has had. And now that he’s shown a willingness to come off the bench, it makes him even more valuable.

It will be interesting to see what kind of deal Thompson commands this summer, but the Lakers will be at the front of the line if they can afford it.

Warriors called about LeBron James at deadline

The Warriors went for a bold strategy at the NBA trade deadline by calling the Lakers and asking if LeBron James was available to pair with Stephen Curry and Thompson. They were immediately rejected, but the Warriors felt it was worth it to at least ask.

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