The Warriors are trying to put away a Los Angeles team in the Western Conference playoffs this week. Golden State heads back to the Bay Area for Game 5 tomorrow night against the Clippers (10:30 p.m. EST, TNT).
The Lakers, who missed the playoffs for a franchise-record 6th straight season with a 35-47 record, are the other team in the city, and much of the talk leading up to this offseason is who Rob Pelinka is going to put around LeBron James with this free agency period.
One of those potential options is Klay Thompson, who would complement James well as an off-guard perimeter threat. He’s due to be available in free agency this summer. Today, Thompson’s father Mychal offered his opinion on the matter.
Per a profile with Kyle Goon of the OC Register:
Make no mistake, Mychal would love for Klay to come home to Southern California – someday after his playing career is over.
“He’ll be happy here, he loves the good weather,” Mychal said. “I always tell him when he’s retired, he’ll have another 40 years to spend here. He’s in no rush to get back…”
…I think the Lakers are gonna be fine. I don’t see Klay coming out here as a savior.”
Mychal was the former No. 1 pick of the Portland Trail Blazers in 1978. He scored 13.7 points and grabbed 7.4 rebounds per game over a 13-year career with Portland, San Antonio and the Lakers. He raised Klay in Southern California, so a Lakers reunion would be a return home.
His opinion has reflected many of the rumors swirling about his son’s future.
Klay Thompson Free Agency Rumors
Bill Oram of The Athletic reported that the Lakers are the “second or third” choice on each of those players’ destination list. Instead, James and the Lakers brain trust is trying to build the team on complementary pieces.
“You don’t need names, you need games,” a source close to James told The Athletic. The Lakers could build a team of complementary pieces better suited for James, like Boston’s Marcus Morris or Milwaukee’s Nikola Mirotic, and fare better than they did this season. But it would run counter to Johnson’s stated philosophy. After all, on a World Series broadcast last fall, Johnson declared, “I’m going to get another superstar next summer!”
In addition, Ramona Shelboure offered this on the Brian Windhorst podcast two weeks ago.
“Guys, I don’t think Klay even gives the Lakers a meeting. If [the Warriors] don’t give him the full max, I think he goes someplace else. I really don’t think Klay gives the Lakers a meeting.”
As discussed on previous rumors posts, the Lakers will probably only have room for one mega-signing this offseason. Their cap space is projected to over $41 million, whereas Durant made over $31 million last season. Signing someone like him or Thompson is in the cards, especially if Warriors GM Bob Myers comes aboard to provide a familiar presence, but almost assuredly not both.
Thompson wants a max contract from Golden State this year, which would be in the range of 4 years, $102 million. With this in mind, Pelinka would have $16 million to replenish complementary parts around James.