Klay Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins Could Play With LeBron James And The Lakers Next Season
Klay Thomspon and DeMarcus Cousins could team up with LeBron James in Los Angeles next season. While Thompson and Cousins are currently focused on the Golden State Warriors' three-peat quest this season, the Dubs duo along with Kevin Durant would be among the most sought-after free agents this coming offseason.
The Golden State Warriors wouldn't let go of their stars easily. Back in January, the Warriors GM Bob Myers was tasked "to do whatever it takes" to keep the Dubs core intact. It would be a tall order even for Myers but the Warriors would likely still have the chance to retain their stars, especially if they complete a three-peat this season.
While Klay Thompson has publicly declared that he wants to end his career with the Warriors, the same cannot be said about DeMarcus Cousins. Thompson is eligible to sign a five-year $190 million max contract with the Warriors while the Dubs can only offer Cousins a $6.4 million contract. Regardless of the result this season, both Thompson and Cousins would have a lot of suitors in the offseason and LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers would be among them.
But a lot of things need to happen before the Lakers could snag these two Warriors. Los Angeles is not bothering to hide their intentions of going after the New Orleans Pelicans' All-Star forward Anthony Davis in the offseason. Assuming that Los Angeles could get Davis, the Lakers bench would be decimated but the lure of playing with two top-5 NBA players in James and Davis might be enough to sway some other free agents. Especially since the Lakers will have the cap to sign two max players, and especially since the Lakers are in shambles and may choose to let some of their disgruntled players go.
Assuming, however, that the Lakers fails to acquire Davis, Thompson and Cousins would immediately become the team's priority. One might say that it would be a blessing in disguise for Los Angeles if the Lakers can't get Davis. It would mean that the Lakers would have the chance to sign top-tier free agents without the need to sacrifice their young core.
And if by chance that the Lakers can lure Thompson and Cousins, a Lakers starting five that includes Lonzo Ball, Klay Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins, Brandon Ingram/Kyle Kuzma, and LeBron James would be enough to make the playoffs - it may also be able to race through the conference finals. Not only will having the two Warriors All-Stars strengthen the Lakers tremendously, it will also mean that the Dubs' vaunted lineup would effectively be reduced. And that's probably good for the NBA.