Warriors $189 Million Star Wants to Join Lakers, Says Stephen A. Smith

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Getty The Los Angeles Lakers continue to be floated as a landing spot for Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson.

The Los Angeles Lakers have some work to do this offseason now that the Boston Celtics have broken their tie for the most NBA championships. One name continues to be linked to the Lakers, even if the idea remains unlikely.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith noted that Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson would “love” to join the Lakers, while adding that the financials make his doing so a slim reality. Smith said the New York Knicks are a much more likely landing spot than the Lakers.

“Well, in a perfect world, Klay would love to be in Los Angeles,” Smith detailed on the June 17 episode of “First Take.” “We all know that. I’m talking about the Lakers. I mean, could you imagine?

“No space — they can’t do it,” he said, referring to the salary cap. “But that’s where he’d love to be. But I’d say learn to like New York.”

Warriors Star Klay Thompson Has Obvious Ties to the Lakers

Thompson has been linked to the Lakers throughout his career given his strong ties to the franchise. Yet, Thompson has re-signed with the Warriors at every opportunity throughout his NBA tenure.

The star guard is a Southern California native. Thompson’s father Mychal Thompson played for the Lakers and currently works as a broadcast analyst for the team. Unless Thompson wanted to play for less money to join the Lakers, the guard’s only chance to land in Los Angeles would be a complicated sign-and-trade.

Klay Thompson Is Seeking a 3-Year Deal in NBA Free Agency

Thompson just completed a sizable five-year, $189 million contract with Golden State. It remains to be seen what Thompson will be able to command on the open market in free agency. NBC Sports’ Bay Area’s Monte Poole reported that Thompson is seeking a three-year deal, at minimum.

“Gone are the days when Thompson was among the NBA’s best two-way wings, an All-Defensive team selection whose exceptional shooting was the basis for five consecutive trips to the All-Star game,” Poole wrote in a June 17 story titled, “Barbosa hopes Klay prioritizes happiness in free-agent decision.” “He still can go for 30 or 40 on a given night, but frequency and efficiency have dipped, as has his defensive versatility.

“For those reasons, Thompson realizes he won’t see anything like his expiring contract, a five-year max worth $190 million. League sources indicate he’s seeking an offer of at least three years.”

The Magic Continue to Be Linked to Klay Thompson in NBA Free Agency

One team desperate to add more shooting this offseason is the Orlando Magic. Thompson and the Magic continue to be linked together as NBA free agency nears. The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Anthony Slater reported that there is a “mutual interest” between Thompson and Orlando.

“That, of course, is in the heart of NBA free agency, which officially begins June 30,” Charania and Slater noted in a June 17 article titled, “Klay Thompson to join Team Bahamas in Houston for Olympic training camp: Sources.” “Thompson is one of the most high-profile names on the market and his future with the Golden State Warriors remains unsettled.

“For the first time in Thompson’s career, he has shown an appetite to explore external options. There remains mutual interest between Thompson and the Orlando Magic, according to league sources. The Warriors have made clear they want to bring Thompson back at the right price and in the right role.”