Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson has been open about his affinity for the Los Angeles Lakers and brought up the team’s heated rivalry with the Boston Celtics heading into the 2022 NBA finals. Thompson is the son of former Lakers big man Mychal Thompson and grew up a major Lakers fan. The Warriors guard reflected on how the Lakers impacted his view of the Celtics.
“Man, yeah I’d say my rookie year, just playing that team of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and K.G. [Kevin Garnett], that was like a “welcome to the NBA” moment for me, because just a couple years prior I was watching them battle Kobe and Pau [Gasol] in the finals,” Thompson explained during a June 1 press conference. “And I was just mesmerized by how great those teams were, both the Lakers and the Celtics. So, life comes full circle now being able to play them in the finals. Like, I was watching them in college, game seven at Staples with my dad in 2010. Now, it’s 12 years later, I get to play the team that I was rooting against, but it’s amazing.”
Thompson’s latest comments have Lakers fans dreaming about the sharpshooter potentially wearing purple and gold someday. The guard still has two seasons remaining on his five-year, $189.9 million contract. Thompson is slated to have a $40 million salary for the 2022-23 season.
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Thompson Considered Signing With the Lakers in 2019: Report
Back in 2019, there were rumblings that Thompson could join the Lakers if he did not receive a max offer from the Warriors. Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner reported on June 27, 2019 that both the Lakers and Clippers were in contention for Thompson.
“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,” Turner tweeted at the time. “Lakers back in the [running] because they now have max slot of $32 million after today’s trade.”
Thompson was asked for his pre-draft views on the Warriors prior to Golden State snagging him with the No. 11 pick in 2011. The five-time All-Star again reflected on growing up in a “Laker household.”
“You know, I grew up in a Laker household, so we didn’t have many Warrior games on, but I always knew that basketball was just a beloved sport in the Bay,” Thompson added.
Could Thompson Be an Option for the Lakers in the Post-LeBron Era?
The chances are slim that Thompson lands with the Lakers any time soon, but could be a down-the-road option for Los Angeles during the post-LeBron era. James’ future is the biggest storyline for the Lakers this offseason as the superstar is eligible to sign a contract extension. If James declines to sign a new deal, he will become a free agent in 2023.
By the time Thompson is a free agent in 2024, the Lakers could look a lot different than the current roster led by James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers big man has three seasons remaining on his current deal and is slated to be a free agent in 2025.