Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson is going to be a free agent this summer, and you can bet on a few teams trying to make a run at him. One former Lakers star thinks the franchise should go all-in on getting Thompson to Los Angeles.
Shaquille O’Neal, who helped the Lakers win three titles, said on his podcast this week that the “first thing” the Lakers should do after the NBA Finals is reach out to Thompson. He says the Lakers can likely offer more money than the Warriors and they should take advantage of that.
Here’s the quote, via USA Today:
“I’ll be like, ‘Klay, your contract is coming up. KD’s contract is coming up. Lots of guys’ contracts are coming up. They can’t pay you what we can pay you. You will be the highest-paid Laker in Laker history. One, I want you to come play with LeBron, and we want to get this thing cracking again. We want you to come live in LA.’
“So, I’m going to call Klay, myself, ‘I’m going to make you the highest-paid Laker in Laker history. Shaq didn’t make this much, Kobe didn’t make this much, Magic didn’t make this much, LeBron doesn’t make this much. We want to help build a team out here with LeBron. What do you say?’ Because if Klay’s going to win this year, he has four. But guess what? Klay’s not the man, he can come to LA and be the man.”
Klay may be more appreciate if he heads to the Lakers, but he won’t be “the man” – that’d be LeBron James.
It’s hard to see Thompson leaving the Warriors, but if he does, the Lakers could make a ton of sense. James has always needed quality shooters as teammates. The duo could be lethal for the rest of the NBA.
At the moment, however, the debate is whether Thompson will be able to play tonight during Game 3 of the NBA Finals after pulling his hamstring. He’ll have time to make a free agency decision once the series is over.