The Los Angeles Lakers focus for the past year has been hitting a home run or two in the 2018 NBA Free Agency period. While that plan has likely not changed, there have been enough signs that the team may instead opt to turn over its sizeable cap space to 2019 with even more All-Stars hitting the open market.
One player often linked to the Lakers is Klay Thompson. The Golden State Warriors shooting guard has already won two NBA championships and is competing to reach his fourth straight NBA Finals. Nevertheless, his name often comes up in reports regarding the Lakers. Thompson, the son of two-time Lakers champion Mychal Thompson, has family in Southern California and many have wondered if the All-Star would want to lead his own team rather than being in the shadows of a juggernaut.
As it turns out, that might not be Thompson’s personality. In a feature written by Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, Thompson admits that the Warriors may mean too much to him to ever leave.
“I was part of building this culture,” he says. “It wouldn’t be leaving everything I worked for behind, but it would be a whole new start. I was one of the pioneers of this. I’m one of the longest-tenured players here besides Steph, so I’m very prideful of the turnaround the Warriors have made. Just because I’m not the face of the franchise doesn’t mean I’m not recognized for it. Real fans and the people in the organization and my peers around the league, they see the work I’ve put in and realize I’ve been a huge component to the success here for the last five, six, seven years, so I have an identity here. It would be hard for me to envision going anywhere else.”
Of course, Thompson’s mind can change from now until next summer. The Warriors have huge financial obligations to Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. Draymond Green will eventually command a formidable salary as well. It’s fair to wonder if there will be enough money to go around just as it’s fair to wonder if all players will be comfortable playing in these roles for the near future.
But for now, it’s hard to blame Thompson for his views on the matter. Thompson is just as engrained in the Warriors as Curry, Durant, and Green are and he is more than happy to tag along for this championship run.