LeBron James puts full-court press on Klay Thompson to join Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have identified a top target in free agency. LeBron James is doing everything he can to bring them to Los Angeles.
Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Six
Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Six / Harry How/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of a four-team race to acquire the services of Klay Thompson. Competing with the Dallas Mavericks, LA Clippers, and Philadelphia 76ers, the Lakers are hoping to bring in one of the greatest shooters in NBA history.

In an all-out effort to outbid three of the most star-studded teams in the NBA, LeBron James is putting the full-court press on Thompson to join the Lakers.

Thompson, 34, is one of the most accomplished players of his generation. He's a four-time NBA champion, five-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA honoree, and a 2019 All-Defense selectee who has earned a reputation as the benchmark for 3-and-D players.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, James reached out to Thompson at the start of free agency with the hope of convincing his former rival to bring that résumé to Los Angeles.

Considering James is the gold standard for recruiting star-caliber players to join forces with him, that's an undeniably promising development.

LeBron James is actively recruiting Klay Thompson to the Lakers

Thompson is coming off of a season in which he averaged 17.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 3.5 three-point field goals made per game. He saw a decline in efficiency, but still managed to shoot at a higher clip than most at .432/.387/.927.

The hope in Los Angeles appears to be that Thompson will bring his sharpshooting touch to a team that ranked 24th in three-point field goals made during the 2023-24 season.

Thompson experienced a statistical decline in 2023-24, averaging his fewest points since 2012-13 and posting the worst full-season three-point field goal percentage of his career. It's to be expected from a 34-year-old wing, however, especially when their role is in flux.

In 2023-24, Thompson came off the bench in 14 different games after previously starting every outing he appeared in since his rookie season.

With the Lakers, Thompson could potentially slot into a more suitable role. Anthony Davis and James are the clear-cut top two scorers on the team, while Austin Reaves is a talented playmaker who has the potential to fill the role of the third isolation scorer.

Depending on how Thompson is acquired, he could also find himself playing alongside Rui Hachimura and D'Angelo Russell, who are double-digit scorers with three-point range.

In either scenario, Thompson would be able to come in and do what he does best: Move without the ball and space the floor as well as anyone in basketball. He'd be expected to get back to the level he'd once played at on defense, but it's a worthwhile argument that he'd have an easier time doing so with less of an offensive burden.

With James, one of the greatest facilitators in NBA history, taking it upon himself to recruit Thomspon to Los Angeles, the Lakers have reason for confidence in their efforts to land the future Hall of Famer.