Lakers expected to show interest in washed-up former all-star

Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings
Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers did not make any moves at the 2024 trade deadline as the team is looking to make a run with its current roster and prepare for what could be a big summer. The trade rumors have already started for the summer with Los Angeles being tied to the likes of Trae Young and Donovan Mitchell.

Rob Pelinka and the front office cannot put the cart in front of the horse as this season still needs to be the main priority. However, it is not unheard of for a front office to prepare for the summer even during a playoff push, especially when a team has as big of plans as the Lakers do.

In addition to potentially being in the market for a blockbuster trade, the Lakers may also be in the market of breaking up the splash brothers. According to NBA insider Shams Charania, the Lakers are a team to watch during Klay Thompson's upcoming free agency this summer.

Lakers expected to show interest in Klay Thompson in free agency

With all due respect to Klay Thompson and everything he has accomplished in his career, the Los Angeles Lakers should not be entering any kind of bidding war for the four-time champion. It is beyond obvious that Klay is past his prime and any team opening the checkbook for him would be paying for past performance.

Klay definitely can still have a positive impact on a team. He still has to be respected from beyond the arc and as an off-ball three-point shooter he can be lethal. But his athleticism has waned and his simply is not the same defender he once was.

It sounds harsh, but Thompson is probably someone who a team should pay around the Mid-Level Exception, which this past season was worth just over $12 million a year. Thompson's name is more valuable than that but his play is not. Heck, Klay has actually been a negative to the Warriors this season. Golden State's net rating is actually 8.5 points worse with Thompson on the court than when he is off the court.

Because of the floor spacing he would create next to LeBron James (if he stays) and Anthony Davis, it makes sense to be interested in a player like Thompson. But if his price even gets in the teens of millions then it will be too much to justify spending.

The Lakers need to not fall into the trap of paying him for past performance. Hopefully, another team will make that mistake on Klay Thompson.

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