Klay Thompson Fiasco Reveals Upsetting Truth About Lakers

Many Los Angeles fans were disappointed when Klay Thompson chose the Dallas Mavericks over the Lakers. Unfortunately, that decision is bound to sting even more for the L.A. faithful following the latest news.
The truth about the Klay Thompson fiasco stings a lot.
The truth about the Klay Thompson fiasco stings a lot. / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

After another disappointing playoff exit, the Los Angeles Lakers opened the offseason searching for a third NBA All-Star to play alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. World-class sharpshooter Klay Thompson was one of the Lakers' top targets after the 34-year-old veteran decided it was time to leave the Golden State Warriors after 13 seasons.

Instead, Thompson left Lakers fans disappointed when he joined the Dallas Mavericks on a three-year, $50 million contract via sign-and-trade. Losing a battle-tested veteran like Thompson to a fellow Western Conference contender hurts. But the reality that comes with the entire fiasco has revealed an upsetting truth about Los Angeles.

Lakers News: Klay Thompson Saga Shows Los Angeles Must Change

A ton of information regarding the Lakers' negotiations with Thompson has been revealed and it's bound to sting for the Lake Show's fanbase.

For starters, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Kendra Andrews report that the Lakers offered the veteran wing more money and term than what he accepted with the Mavericks, allegedly to the tune of "nearly $80 million" across four years. That translates to about $20 million per season, whereas Thompson accepted $16.7 million annually from Dallas.

It gets worse from there. Shelburne and Andrews added that LeBron "had several deep conversations with Thompson about the idea of playing together," but couldn't sway the ex-Warrior. If the best player in NBA history can't persuade someone to join the Lakers, there's clearly something wrong with the franchise.

It's even more telling that Thompson's father Mychal — who played for the Lakers (1987-91) and is one of the team's broadcasters — couldn't convince his son to join the team.

Yes, it sucks losing out on a potential difference-maker like Thompson, but you can hardly fault him for choosing a different destination. Aside from the 2020 NBA Championship run, the Lakers haven't exactly been the shining example of success for the last 10 or so years.

Since the 2013-14 campaign, the Lakers have qualified for the NBA postseason just four times. While one of those runs resulted in a championship, two saw Los Angeles suffer a first-round exit — including one to the Denver Nuggets this past spring.

Lakers Must Establish Consistency

Additionally, the Lakers' revolving door of coaches doesn't do well for franchise players. Since being drafted by the Warriors in 2011, Mark Jackson (2011-14) and Steve Kerr (2014-24) were the only head coaches that Thompson played under. Meanwhile, Los Angeles has hired eight different bench leaders in the last 13 years.

If the Lakers want to avoid free agents like Thompson rejecting them, something must change. One of the winningest franchises in NBA history has clearly lost the identity, which was present during the Pat Riley and Phil Jackson years. I'm not saying that J.J. Redick is the man to turn things around, but it will be harder for the Lakers to remove the stink if his coaching tenure ends in disaster.

Hopefully, Redick erases those doubts by coaching the Lakers to a successful 2024-25 campaign. A strong showing in Year 1 would go a long way in attracting free agents next summer and beyond, which is necessary given that L.A. can't rely on LeBron James' aura to lure potential reinforcements forever.

At least all signs point to Redick and the Lakers finding success next season. FanDuel Sportsbook is currently giving Los Angeles the ninth-best odds (+3400) to take home the Larry O'Brien Trophy next NBA season.

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