Klay Thompson linked to Lakers by NBA insider

Mike Battaglino
4 Min Read
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Klay Thompson’s time with the Golden State Warriors may be coming to an end, and NBA insider Shams Charania said the Los Angeles Lakers are one of the teams likely to have an interest in acquiring him if he does become available.

Charania also named the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Clippers as other teams that could target Thompson, with others possibly involved as well.

“He’s set to be a free agent at the end of the season,” Charania said on “The Pat McAfee Show.” “From everything, I expect him to test the marketplace. I would expect both Florida teams. I would expect both L.A. teams. I would expect potentially a couple of East Coast teams to have interest in Klay Thompson.

“As of right now — unless there’s a miracle extension — he’s gonna test the marketplace. And I think the Warriors have understood going into the year after they didn’t extend him, his future’s up in the air just for the simple fact he’s gonna be going into free agency.”

A four-time NBA champion with the Warriors, the 34-year-old reportedly passed on a contract extension which has now led to him likely becoming a free agent.

Thompson’s role with the Warriors has changed, and he is now coming off the bench. He has shown flashes of his past level of play, including a 35-point effort in a victory against the Utah Jazz on Thursday. But he is averaging just 17.3 points per game in 50 appearances this season.

Prior to the NBA trade deadline last week, the Lakers and Warriors reportedly talked about a deal for the ages that could have sent LeBron James to Golden State. NBA insider Zach Lowe said he thinks the Warriors will continue to try to add the superstar and pair him with Stephen Curry.

With the trade deadline now in the past, thoughts have turned to possible movements for big-name players this coming offseason. Another report said the Lakers will be looking for a “difference-making” perimeter player, a role that Thompson conceivably could fill. Los Angeles also has been linked to Dejounte Murray of the Atlanta Hawks and Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls.

The Lakers will come out of the NBA All-Star break in ninth place in the Western Conference, one spot ahead of the Warriors. Los Angeles has won six of its past seven games and is 11-5 in its past 16 outings to raise its record to 30-26. Golden State has won eight of its past 10 games and holds a record of 27-26.

There is plenty of excitement and goals to accomplish over the remainder of this season before the Lakers turn their attention to next season and a possible addition of Thompson from one of their rivals.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.