NBA Rumors: Latest News on Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler Trade, More

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 27, 2019

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson warms up before Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors in Oakland, Calif., Friday, June 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tony Avelar/Associated Press

One of the NBA's top free agents might not be on the market for long if he and his current team are able to reach an agreement when free agency begins Sunday. 

Unlike other free agents, Klay Thompson has had little drama and fanfare attached to his name since the rumor mill started to seriously spin at the start of the week. 

While Thompson and the Golden State Warriors are in line to extend their partnership, the same can't be said yet about Jimmy Butler and the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Houston is reportedly preparing a serious case to lure Butler to its roster, and one of the reasons for the urgency to land another big name is the openness of the Western Conference, with Golden State weakened by Thompson's ACL injury. 


Latest NBA News

Klay Thompson

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Thompson and the Warriors will meet in Los Angeles at the start of free agency. 

If the Warriors come to the meeting ready to offer a five-year, $190 million deal, the two parties expect a quick agreement, per Charania's report. 

Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Signing a new deal with the Warriors always seemed like the best option for Thompson in terms of money and fit, even before his ACL injury. 

After the NBA Finals, Thompson's dad, Mychal, told Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle that there was "no question" he would re-sign with Golden State. 

Unfortunately for the Warriors, Thompson will not be available for most of the 2019-20 campaign, which means they would have him on the court for the next four years, instead of five. 

From Golden State's perspective, it makes sense to lock up Thompson long term since he is 29 and can be paired with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green for at least a few more seasons. 

If he signs the max deal, Thompson's salary would take a significant increase, as he made $18 million during the 2018-19 season, per Spotrac.


Jimmy Butler

Houston is trying to go all-in to secure the services of Butler in an attempt to form a big three with him, Chris Paul and James Harden

According to ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets are canvassing other NBA teams to try to take on Clint Capela, Eric Gordon or P.J. Tucker in order to make a sign-and-trade with Philadelphia for Butler a possibility. 

Currently, the Rockets do not have enough cap space to afford a four-year, $140 million deal for Butler, which is why they have to explore options in the trade market. 

Chris Szagola/Associated Press

In order to facilitate a possible Butler deal, the Rockets are looking to get the best available first-round pick in exchange for Capela, Gordon or Tucker, per Wojnarowski's report. 

The first-round pick comes into play in a possible trade package with the Sixers, who might be more inclined to take back a pick instead of one of the three salaries. 

While Houston is making noise on the rumor mill, Wojnarowski noted there is no formal indication that the Sixers, or Butler, are interested in what Houston is proposing. 

The Rockets might not be able to land Butler in this manner, but it is worth a shot given the current state of the Western Conference. 

With Golden State expected to take a dip in form with Thompson out, Houston could rise to the top of the West if it puts together a big three of Butler, Harden and Paul. 

Even if the Rockets do not land Butler, they are in good shape to contend, but with the Los Angeles Lakers and others rebuilding their rosters, it makes sense to swing for the fences in the offseason. 


Enes Kanter

According to Yahoo's Chris Haynes, Enes Kanter is expected to draw interest from the Lakers, Boston and Portland in free agency. 

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The 27-year-old center spent the back end of last season with Portland following a trade from New York. In his time with the Blazers, Kanter averaged 13.1 points per game, which was 0.6 points off his average for the entire season. 

Since the 2013-14 season, Kanter has averaged over 10 points per game, and he has averaged a double-double in three of those years. 

Given his age and level of production, Kanter would be a solid fit for each of those three teams mentioned in Haynes' report. 

Kanter and the Blazers are familiar with each other, and he would help them replace the production of Jusuf Nurkic, who will be working his way back from a serious leg injury at the start of next season. 

The Lakers would be an intriguing option for Kanter if they can afford him. He is likely not the top target on their wish list, and the interest in Kanter could be dependent on who else the Lakers attempt to bring in during free agency. 

Boston is also another interesting landing spot for Kanter since it needs experience down low with Al Horford on his way out. 

However, the Celtics might have the smallest chance to win a title of the three teams since they are going through more of a roster overhaul than the Blazers and Lakers. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference