With NBA free agency not far from starting up, the Los Angeles Lakers have already begun to show interest in a number of players. The team has a large number of players who could leave for other teams this offseason but there should be plenty of guys who want to join the NBA champions. One name to keep an eye on is Cleveland Cavaliers free agent Tristan Thompson.
Evan Dammarell of Forbes.com is reporting that the Lakers have shown interest in the big man.
“Thompson does have interested suitors on the market – mainly the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Toronto Raptors, according to league sources,” Dammarell wrote. “But, those same sources also shared that Thompson would like to try and finish his career with the Cavaliers and continue helping the team’s young core develop.”
Thomspon is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro. He averaged a career-high 12 points per game while averaging 10.1 rebounds per game.
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Thompson Spent Time With LeBron James Recently
Speculation of Thompson joining the Lakers began to heat up recently as LeBron James posted about having him over for a drink.
The two men grew really close when they were both in Cleveland. It would make a lot of sense why they might want to play together again. They won a championship together in 2016 and could do it again this upcoming season if they paired up. Based on Dammarell’s report, it sounds like Thompson could prefer to stay in Cleveland. If there’s one guy who could convince Thompson to change his mind, it’s LeBron.
Does Thompson Fit With Lakers?
Thompson is coming off a strong season but power forward isn’t really a need for the Lakers. He’s probably too small to play center. The team already has Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma at power forward. Markieff Morris is another guy who can play power forward if they decide to re-sign him.
Now, the Lakers could look to go a little smaller and have Thompson play center. However, that doesn’t seem to be how they want to do things. They had JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard playing at center for most of the season. Those guys are definitely bigger than Thompson. Also, he’s been a starter for most of his career. If he joined the Lakers, he’d probably have a role on the bench, which he might not want.
There are reasons to believe that Thompson could come to the Lakers but he’s not a guy the team really needs. After the Lakers won a title by dominating the paint all season, teams are going to want to upgrade their frontcourts. That could help a guy like Thompson get a little more money than he would with the Lakers. The Clippers would be wise to try and convince Thompson to leave Cleveland. They’re not going to beat the Lakers if they can’t get some solid big men on their roster.