Lakers rumors: Pros and cons of potentially signing Klay Thompson in free agency

Four-time NBA champion Klay Thompson will reportedly test the waters in free agency. Should the Los Angeles Lakers make a run at one of best shooters ever?
Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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Con: Opportunity Cost

The Los Angeles Lakers will be one of the many teams that will likely touch base with Klay Thompson this summer. As each of those teams will learn, however, the cost of doing business could ultimately prove more than anticipated.

Thompson will have suitors who can offer a significant amount of money, and the Lakers simply may not have the resources to compete.

Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area previously reported that Thompson is aware that he won't receive a contract similar to his expired five-year deal worth $189.9 million. Poole reports, however, that the 34-year-old is looking for a three-year deal.

A three-year deal would certainly be manageable, but the cost per season could effectively eliminate the remainder of the Lakers' already limited salary cap flexibility.

In addition to making just over $43.2 million during the 2024-25 season, Anthony Davis, 31, has already signed a three-year extension worth upwards of $177 million. If LeBron James, 39, re-signs, then the Lakers will likely have him on the books for multiple seasons, as well.

A sign-and-trade is a viable option for the Lakers to consider here, but even then, they would be building the next three years of their franchise around three players who are 31 and over with injury histories to consider.

The Los Angeles Lakers would be justified in their interest in Klay Thompson. He's a four-time NBA champion with an all-time great jump shot, and the Lakers are in desperate need of shooting and perimeter players who knows what it takes to win at the highest level.

The reality check that might bring those hopes crashing down, however, is simple: Thompson would be an expensive gamble for a team that has no margin for error.