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Lakers prefer another top free agent over Kawhi Leonard in 2019 free agency [ESPN]

GiveMeSport | Updated: 2018-09-07 20:25:08

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson will be high on many team's wish list if he decides to leave his current team next summer.

If Thompson doesn't sign a new deal with the Warriors this season, he will become a free agent next summer and will be one of the biggest names in free agency.

He will be a part of a star-studded free agent class that could potentially include the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, and Kyrie Irving.

Several teams will be exploring this market for new players, and one of these teams will be the Los Angeles Lakers as they look to add more star players to their team alongside LeBron James.

Most people have speculated that the Lakers will go hard after acquiring Leonard if he decides not to stay with the Toronto Raptors after this season. 

However, if one report is to be believed, Kawhi might not be at the top of their wish list, even if he decides he's done in Toronto after just one year.

ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne reported on ESPN LA 710's Mornings with Keyshawn, LZ and Travis, via Anthony Irwin of SB Nation: "In terms of who they target next year, it's whoever wants to come.

"My feeling about it, my sense from just talking to people in and around this [is that] one, it's a little early, but I think they like Mychal's boy.

"I think that would be the guy, in terms of skillset and how that would fit. Obviously Kawhi [Leonard], he's a great player as well, but we'll see if he stays in Toronto now. But I think they like Klay [Thompson]."

Klay already has a significant connection with the Lakers franchise, as his father, Mychal, spent four-and-a-half seasons with the team during the 1980s, helping them win the NBA title in 1987 and 1988.

According to reports, the Lakers will have $38 million in salary-cap space next offseason after agreeing to a buyout with Luol Deng. This would be enough to sign a max-level free agent like Thompson.

However, it isn't a guarantee that Klay would want to join the Lakers, as he'll probably be happy to stay with the Warriors if they give him a respectable deal.

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