How The Dallas Mavericks Can Sign Klay Thompson In Free Agency

Veteran shooting guard Klay Thompson appears set to leave the Golden State Warriors in free agency. The Dallas Mavericks have emerged a possible destination for the four-time NBA champion, and the two parties will talk about the possibility of Thompson joining Dallas during free agency’s negotiating period, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Thompson signing with the Mavericks would give the club a potent sharpshooting threat to play alongside Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. According to Marc Stein, there is a “strong mutual interest between Thompson and the Dallas Mavericks.” But landing Thompson will be more challenging than simply making him a contract offer this summer.

Thompson, 34, is an unrestricted free agent. He’s likely to garner a salary in the $13 million range next season. Dallas could approach that number by offering him its entire $12.9 million mid-level exception. However, doing so could prevent them from signing one of their top free agents targets.

Mavericks GM Nico Harrison made it clear that re-signing Derrick Jones Jr. is a priority. Jones established himself as integral to the starting lineup, and his athleticism and energy were crucial during Dallas’s run to the Finals.

When the Mavericks traded Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Detroit Pistons for Quinten Grimes, it gave the team some financial flexibility, freeing up significant cap space. It allows Dallas to use most, if not all, of its MLE to re-sign Jones.

With the MLE most likely tied up, a sign-and-trade for Thompson becomes a viable option. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Warriors are open to facilitating such a deal. Not only does it help ensure that he winds up in a desirable destination, but Golden State will receive some compensation for the departure of the five-time NBA All-Star.

Given his salary, Josh Green is a likely prospect for Dallas to include in any sign-and-trade with Golden State. The 23-year-old, four-year veteran signed a three-year, $41 million rookie contract extension last October and will earn $12.6 million next season. He will become an unrestricted free agent in 2027.

Dallas can offer more than just Green to sweeten the deal. Despite sending out three second-round draft picks in the trade with the Pistons, the Mavericks have first-round picks in 2025, 2026, 2028 and 2030 available. Dallas’ first-round pick in 2027 is top-two protected; otherwise, it conveys to the Charlotte Hornets.

The Mavericks also have a trade exception worth $4.9 million. However, they must use it before it expires on July 8.

Klay Thompson presents an attractive target for the Mavericks to upgrade the team’s shooting after making it to the NBA Finals. Getting him to Dallas, however, will require mutual interest and some financial ingenuity.

First appeared on www.forbes.com

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