Perfect 3-and-D wing emerges as strong free agent candidate for Mavericks

Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks are in the midst of improving their roster in any fashion possible ahead of the 2024-25 NBA season, as the Mavericks are positioning themselves to make another run at the NBA Finals in what looks to be like a much more treacherous run to get back to the NBA’s mountain top this coming season.

Teams across the league have already made trades and have drafted talent to improve their rosters, and the Mavericks and President of Basketball Operations Nico Harrison have operated no differently.

Just yesterday, Dallas finally traded Tim Hardaway Jr. off their squad, as Dallas acquired Quentin Grimes from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Hardaway Jr. and three second-round picks. The day before yesterday, Dallas traded up in the 2024 NBA Draft to snag a 3-and-D French standout in Melvin Ajinca at the 51st pick. When a team makes it to the NBA Finals as Dallas did, it’s easy to ride the continuity train and use that as an excuse to not make roster improvements, but the Mavericks are making moves around the margins to improve themselves while still focusing heavily on the development and synchronization of their young core.

Klay Thompson emerges as strong free agent candidate for Mavericks

While Ajinca is a promising young wing and Grimes is a proven versatile point-of-attack defender who can drain 3-pointers at a high clip, it’s hard to see exactly where they’ll fit into Dallas’ rotation until this offseason is fully over, as Dallas isn’t done retooling their roster yet.

After the Grimes trade, the Mavericks cleared a significant amount of cap space and got themselves under the first luxury tax line, giving them the ability to re-sign prospective unrestricted free agent Derrick Jones Jr. to a deal that would give him the non-taxpayer MLE of around $12.9 million annually. Harrison has been adamant the re-signing Jones Jr. is one of Dallas’ top priorities this off-season, but it seems like the Mavericks aren’t done optimizing their rotation quite yet.

Dallas has registered interest in acquiring other players via trade and free agency ahead of this free agency period kicking off on June 30 at 5:00 p.m. central time, as the Mavericks have been involved in rumors for the likes of Portland star Jerami Grant among others.

Some surprising news that also dropped on Thursday was that the Dallas Mavericks and impending free agent Klay Thompson have “strong mutual interest” (subscription required), as the 34-year-old veteran’s 3-and-D skillset and off-ball movement have thrust Thompson into a likely Hall-of-Famer after winning multiple championships with the Golden State Warriors.

Any team in the NBA would welcome a player of Thompson’s skill and pedigree for the right price, even if Thompson has had some head-scratching shooting clunkers over the past two seasons. Thompson can still thrive in the right system without a doubt, as the veteran averaged 17.9 points per game on 43.2/38.7/92.3 shooting splits last season on a less-than-ideally constructed Warriors team, so he’d easily step into Dallas as the best 3-point shooter on the team given his track record and would also bring championship experience, leadership, and poise to this young Mavericks core led by Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

Acquiring Thompson won’t be a cakewalk though, as Dallas would likely have to pull off a sign-and-trade with Golden State to appease the cap logistics of this situation to acquire Thompson unless they plan to forego retaining Derrick Jones Jr. in free agency.

The fact that a player of Thompson’s status has strong mutual interest with Dallas is a sight for sore eyes though, as this likely wouldn’t be the case if Dallas hadn’t bolstered their front office a few years back while having some of the on-court success that they’ve had in recent seasons.

For more on Klay Thompson potentially heading to  the Dallas Mavericks during this free agency, stay tuned as we will have you covered through it all.