RUMOR: Raptors expected to join Lakers in chase for Tristan Thompson
LeBron James and his agent, Rich Paul, have ingeniously leveraged short-term deals to help Klutch clients like Anthony Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Markieff Morris, Dion Waiters, and J.R. Smith land deals with the Lakers. The partnership has benefited the careers and wallets of each player, and the acquisitions of James and Davis propelled the franchise to its 17th NBA championship in the bubble.
Now, the Lakers reportedly have interest in adding another noted Klutch client and former teammate of James’: Tristan Thompson, who just completed the five-year, $82 million that Cleveland generously awarded him (and the Klutch team) in 2015.
With Andre Drummond and Kevin Love (plus Larry Nance Jr.) still in Cleveland — and for other lifestyle reasons — there isn’t expected to be a ton of mutual interest between Thompson and the Cavaliers on a new deal, with the veteran big setting his sights on L.A.
However, the Lakers aren’t the only suitors for the 29-year old, who averaged 12 points and 10.1 rebounds per game in 57 games for the Cavaliers in 2019-20.
“The Lakers would love to land Tristan Thompson, an ex-LeBron James teammate in Cleveland who would shore up the front line,” SI’s Chris Mannix wrote in his free agency primer on Friday. “The Raptors, who could lose both Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, are expected to pursue the Toronto-born big man. With Andre Drummond opting into the final year of his contract, Thompson’s time with the Cavs could be over.”
Mannix adds that the Lakers may be the only team that will make an offer to fellow center Dwight Howard, which could presumably be impacted by whether they land Tristan Thompson.