5 Veteran free agents Mavericks could target with ties to LeBron James

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, LeBron James
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, LeBron James / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Tristan Thompson

Thompson did not play during the regular season, and it appeared the 32-year-old was headed for retirement until the Lakers signed him in late April. The 6’9 big man played four seasons with LeBron James in Cleveland, and the two are close friends. Thompson was the Cavaliers starter throughout their 2016 champion run, and he has played a key role on four teams that reached the NBA Finals. The Lakers brought him for leadership, and the Mavericks could do the same.

Dallas could not expect much from Thompson, but he did give the Lakers nearly ten quality minutes in their Game 4 loss to the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. The 6’9 big man scored four points and had one rebound coming off the bench in his first real game action of the year.

If the Dallas Mavericks acquire LeBron James, they are going to need to round out their roster with players on veteran minimum contracts. Tristan Thompson won’t play a massive on-court role, but he could be a key leader and veteran in the locker room that helps the franchise navigate the challenges of the long season.

The Mavs desperately need center depth, and Thompson would be another body and option for head coach Jason Kidd to use next season. The 32-year-old is familiar playing with LeBron and Kyrie and could be the locker room voice the Mavericks lacked as they missed the playoffs in 2023.