By Ryan Gaydos
Published June 26, 2019
Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson is expected to become a free agent once the period begins in the summer and he’s expected to draw interest from several teams.
However, teams may be a bit more worried about going after Thompson because of the injury he suffered during Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Thompson tore his ACL in the loss.
The injury could make teams more cautious about offering Thompson a max contract while he might miss most or all of the 2019-20 season.
Here are five teams that could sign Thompson once free agency begins on June 30.
It appears the Warriors are the odds on favorite to retain Thompson during free agency. The Warriors can offer Thompson the most money in a max contract and, with the possibility of Kevin Durant leaving, it would mean more opportunities for Thompson to shoot the ball. Mychal Thompson, Klay’s father, and Andre Iguodala, Klay’s teammate, have both predicted the shooter will re-signs with Golden State.
If for whatever reason Thompson doesn’t sign, he could land with the Lakers and play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But if Thompson is truly “sick of the crumbs” he was getting with the Warriors – as ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith put it – having to play alongside two superstars again may not suit him. However, the three-time NBA champion is reportedly expected to be in “Space Jam 2” with James as the lead star, which may be a telling sign the Lakers are trying to pull Thompson to Southern California.
The Clippers’ possibility of signing Thompson hinges on whether the Warriors offer him a max contract, according to ESPN. With the Clippers, Thompson would presumably be the lead guy and give Los Angeles some firepower heading into the 2019-20 season. The Clippers also appear to be in the running for Kawhi Leonard.
The Hawks are another team that could be waiting to pounce on Thompson if the Warriors don’t give him a max deal. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Hawks are “confident” they can persuade Thompson to sign with them. Adding another sharpshooter next to Trae Young could be a deadly combination in the Eastern Conference.
The Mavericks will reportedly be trying to lure a big-name free agent to pair with Luka Doncic. The Dallas Morning-News noted that Thompson could be a good partner. But like the others, the Mavericks might only get a shot at him if the Warriors don’t give him a max deal.