Klay Thompson is among the handful of superstar free agents the Los Angeles want to sign in 2019…according to his father.
Speaking with KNBR’s Tolbert & Lund, Mychal Thompson, a Lakers broadcaster for Spectrum Sports, said team president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka have their eyes on his son, in addition to Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard. Here’s the full excerpt, courtesy of KNBR’s Keaton Moore:
“The Lakers have their eyes set on five guys,” Mychal said when asked about the Lakers’ free agent targets. “Two guys this summer. Three guys next summer.”
After this season, LeBron James and Paul George will both be free agents, but if the Lakers are unable to sign both those players, they’ll look towards next summer, when Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, and Klay are free agents.
“Magic and [general manager Rob] Pelinka would like to sign two of those five,” Mychal said. “Now, the two can come this summer then that eliminates 2019 and those other three guys or if they have to wait until next summer, that’s what their [sic] going chase.” . . .
“I understand, they’re all long shots,” Mychal said. “I think Jimmy Butler, he and [head coach Tom] Thibodeau are tight, he’s going to re-sign with Minnesota. Klay loves the Bay, no reason for him to look anyplace else, unless the Warriors tell him he’s unwanted or needed anymore. He’s not looking to leave, we all know that.”
Mychal, to be clear, isn’t saying Klay wants to leave the Warriors. He’s not even giving the Lakers a great chance of landing any one of these three names. He goes out of his way to note they’re all long shots.
Of the three stars, though, Klay may be the most realistic target. He loves playing for the Golden State Warriors, but they’ll be facing unprecedented luxury-tax penalties entering 2019-20, with Draymond Green due for another contract the following. Either him or Klay could become collateral damage of what it’ll cost to pay both Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant—unless the Warriors are once again lucky enough to have their stars accept appreciable pay cuts, a la Kevin Durant last summer.