Klay Thompson Rumors: Kyrie Irving Recruited Star to Mavs Amid LeBron, Lakers Buzz

zach bacharContributor IJuly 1, 2024

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 2: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors and Kyrie Irving #11 of the Dallas Mavericks embrace after the game on April 2, 2024 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Kyrie Irving’s recruiting efforts helped Klay Thompson sign with the Dallas Mavericks on a three-year contract worth $50 million.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

BREAKING: Free agent Klay Thompson plans to join the Dallas Mavericks on a three-year, $50M deal with a player option, sources tell ESPN. Thompson ends his historic Warriors run as part of a multi-team sign-and-trade that’ll also send Josh Green to Charlotte.

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, Irving was part of Dallas’ face-to-face meeting with Thompson on Sunday night. Stein noted that his participation was also used to “counter” the Los Angeles Lakers, as LeBron James was attempting to sway the former Golden State Warriors guard.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Thompson was in “serious talks” with the Mavericks as well as the Lakers before he ultimately chose Dallas.

While Thompson and Irving don’t have any NBA experience as teammates, they’ve shared the court several times on the international stage. They’ve been on the same Team USA roster twice, winning a gold medal during the 2014 FIBA World Cup as well as another gold during the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Despite the reported recruiting attempts from James, the Lakers weren’t able to secure Thompson. After the NBA’s all-time leading scorer declined his $51.4 million player option, he seemingly left the door open for a potential acquisition.

Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, James’ agent, told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that the 39-year-old would be willing to work with the Lakers and sign a deal below the maximum three years and $162 million in order to open up the full $12.9 million mid-level exception. Per McMenamin, Thompson was listed as a “type” of player that James would sacrifice a higher salary for.

Wojnarowski noted on Monday that the sharpshooter had “four-year offers for more money,” although he chose the Mavericks due to the opportunity to possibly win the fifth championship of his career. Dallas is coming off a trip to the NBA Finals, while Los Angeles was defeated in the first round of the playoffs.

Thompson, Irving, and Luka Dončić should help the Mavericks maintain their status as one of the top teams in the Western Conference as they attempt to avenge their loss to the Boston Celtics.

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