Lakers broadcaster Mychal Thompson says he tried to recruit son Klay to L.A.

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The Dallas Mavericks’ latest addition is one half of the greatest shooting backcourts in NBA history.

He’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, a key part of four Warriors championships that helped Golden State become one of the league’s most celebrated dynasties. And though he’s regressed due to age and injuries, 34-year-old Klay Thompson joining the Mavericks was one of the biggest developments of 2024 NBA free agency — and a blow to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Thompson reportedly spurned a four-year, $80 million deal from the Lakers to sign a three-year, $50 million deal with Dallas.

It was a happenstance that was disappointing to former Lakers player and current team radio broadcaster Mychal Thompson — who also happens to be Klay’s dad.

“I’m not feeling too much in a congratulatory mood right now,” he said on Sirius XM radio Tuesday. “Obviously it’s Klay’s decision, it’s his life. He’s a grown man, 34 years of age. … [but] I was really disappointed. 

“I was hoping … that he would be a Laker. And it was close, it came down to the Lakers and the Mavs, but the Mavs won out. But you know me, I was hoping and praying he’d finish his career with the Lakers.

LeBron James reportedly placed a call to Klay Thompson shortly after NBA free agency began Sunday, and Mychal Thompson confirmed that he also tried to recruit his son on behalf of the Lakers.

“I felt like it was the correct thing for me to do, because I really believe in this franchise,” Mychal Thompson said. “The franchise has been so good to me and my family, including Klay. He grew up a Laker fan, he grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant … So I just thought it seemed like to me the perfect fit for him to finally come back home, because we always talked about him playing for the Lakers if he was not a Golden State Warrior. 

“But he had a chance, and when the chance came, he chose the Mavericks instead. I’ll live with it, I accept it, and I’m happy for him that he’s happy with his decision. But yes, of course I tried to sell him on the Lakers.”

Thompson’s rejection of the Lakers’ offer shocked many, especially given his family’s allegiance to the franchise, and Klay’s own affinity for it having grown up watching his father play and work for the team. But in Nick Wright’s view, the Lakers sold Thompson short in their offer. Wright argued that Los Angeles was ill-prepared to sign Thompson to the deal it claimed it could, and the team’s salary cap space didn’t match the number it reportedly danlged in front of him.

“‘Maybe we could cobble together four years, 80 if you say you wanna come here, give me some time to work my magic,'” Wright hypothesized the Lakers telling Thompson. “Because here’s the deal: The Lakers don’t have … $18 million to offer for this year. And so what teams with well-run front offices historically do is before the meetings, they clear out the space beforehand so it’s ready to go, so like, ‘Hey, we can do this right now. Before you leave, check out the great lakefront real estate in Dallas.’

“That’s usually how it’s done. The way it’s typically done in my experience with the Lakers, is after missing out on a target that you publicly pursue, you float out there some numbers that you think is gonna get you good PR, but then this happens. So no, I don’t buy it.”

Surprised Klay Thompson chose the Mavericks over the Lakers? | First Things First

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly offered Klay Thompson a 4-year, $80 million contract to sign with them. However, he turned it down to sign with the Dallas Mavericks. Nick Wright discusses the Lakers being turned down and why this doesn’t surprise him.

Wright also pushed back on the idea that the different tax codes between California and Texas helped sway Klay Thompson to the Mavericks.

“The state of California and the state of Texas did not recently undergo some massive tax changes that have now all of a sudden made Dallas a free agent destination when it hasn’t been for a decade, and made the Lakers out in the cold when it had always been the place my whole life, up until roughly 10 years ago,” Wright said. “[Late Lakers owner Jerry] Buss never had a problem getting free agents with those taxes, and [former Mavericks majority owner] Mark Cuban forever missed out on free agents despite the taxes. … This whole thing irritates me beyond belief.”

But the fact that the Lakers were unable to woo another NBA star who grew up supporting them — and whose own father was recruiting him is viewed by many, including Wright, as an indictment on the one of basketball’s premier franchises.

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