Report: Lakers would 'love' to land ex-LeBron James teammate in free agency - Lakers Daily

Report: Lakers would ‘love’ to land ex-LeBron James teammate in free agency

LeBron James Lakers Cavs Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

As the Los Angeles Lakers plunge into free agency, a new report indicates that they have a strong interest in LeBron James’ former teammate with the Cleveland Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson.

Chris Mannix of SI.com looked at various aspects of free agency and offered a key reason why the Lakers might pursue Thompson, though they may face competition from the Toronto Raptors.

“The Lakers would love to land Tristan Thompson, an ex-LeBron James teammate in Cleveland who would shore up the front line,” Mannix wrote. “The Raptors, who could lose both Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, are expected to pursue the Toronto-born big man. With Andre Drummond opting into the final year of his contract, Thompson’s time with the Cavs could be over.”

During the four years that James and Thompson played for the Cavaliers from 2014 to 2018, the team reached the NBA Finals in all four of those seasons. In 2016, the Cavs captured their first and only title.

The 29-year-old Thompson was the fourth overall selection in the 2011 draft, but has largely focused on the rebounding aspect of his game. He wouldn’t offer the Lakers much in the way of scoring, but his ability to crash the boards and defend would ease the burden somewhat on James and others.

Thompson is a native of Toronto, though he owns a home in Southern California and has remained close to James since the latter’s departure to the Lakers in 2018.

This past season, Thompson completed a five-year contract extension that he signed with the Cavaliers in 2015 that was worth $82 million. How much he would be asking for this time is unknown, but it may determine whether or not he ultimately joins the Lakers.