Lakers Rumors: LA to Chase Klay Thompson If Warriors Don't Offer Max to Start FA

Megan ArmstrongContributor IFebruary 27, 2019

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) stands on the court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

While the Golden State Warriors are chasing their third consecutive NBA championship, the Los Angeles Lakers are plotting their pursuit of max free agents. 

"With Klay Thompson, Golden State needs to have a max offer on the table right when midnight hits [on July 1]," Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports told HoopsHype's Alex Kennedy on Tuesday's episode of The HoopsHype Podcast. "If you wait until 12:01 to offer that max contract, you're opening the door for the Lakers. Period."

Thompson, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July, told Mark Medina of the Mercury News earlier this season that he "would like to be a Warrior for life."

However, Thompson did acknowledge the business of free agency and left the door open for his departure:

"Contract negotiations are way down the line. But I think we all have the same interest. I would love to be here for the rest of my career. ... But at the end of the day, I'm going to be a free agent in 2019. Number one on my list would obviously be to stay with the Warriors.

"I know it's a business. ... That's always going to be a talking point. NBA free agency is like a season in and of itself now."

The 29-year-old Thompson has been a Warrior since Golden State drafted him No. 11 overall in 2011 out of Washington State. Since then, he and fellow Splash Brother Stephen Curry have developed into the NBA's most lethal backcourt. Together, they've brought three titles to the Bay.

However, Thompson has familial ties to the Lakers. Mychal Thompson, Klay's father, finished his NBA career as a Laker from 1987-91, winning two titles in L.A.

Mychal has had conflicting comments on his son's future. In September, Mychal said Klay "should" go to L.A., but one month prior, he proclaimed Klay was "going to retire in the Warriors' uniform."

Thompson isn't the Warriors' only notable concern this summer, as reigning NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant is also set to become an unrestricted free agent in July. In December, Durant said on the Posted Up with Chris Haynes podcast, "I just want to make sure I get as much money as I can on my next deal."

Both Thompson and Durant will have a number of suitors this summer, but money may speak the loudest. 


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