Klay Thompson traded to the Dallas Mavericks: 5 winners and losers

Klay Thompson, Dallas Mavericks
Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Klay Thompson and his 13-year marriage with the Golden State Warriors is officially over. Multiple media reports indicate that the four-time NBA champion has agreed to a three-year, $50 million contract with the defending Western Conference champion Dallas Mavericks.

Despite his overwhelming success as a member of the Warriors, their relationship soured big time in recent years. It led to Monday’s somewhat sobering news.

Thompson now joins the Mavericks via a sign-and-trade that includes the Charlotte Hornets adding guard Josh Green to the mix. In return to facilitating a sign-and-trade, the Warriors were able to add draft compensation. They did not want to take on any salaries in the deal.

Here, we look at the five biggest winners and losers from this huge Thompson move from the Bay Area to Big D.

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Winner: Dallas Mavericks add Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson, Dallas Mavericks
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Despite seeing regression in his game over the past couple seasons, Thompson is a tremendous value at $16.7 million annually. It is actually substantially less than what the Warriors had offered on a per-year basis. This just goes to show us how much their relationship had deteriorated.

Fresh off a surprise appearance in the NBA Finals, Dallas adds that much-needed shooting to the mix. It was something the team was missing big time. After all, Thompson is considered one of the best catch-and-shoot players of all-time. That’s not hyperbole.

Loser: Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors' Mike Dunleavy Jr
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State had a real opportunity to improve its roster once NBA free agency opened on Sunday. That included potentially using Chris Paul’s $30 million expiring contract to add talent. Instead of accepting a deal from the Chicago Bulls that sent the Warriors All-Star wing Zach LaVine, they opted to simply waive Paul. It led to him signing with the San Antonio Spurs. Nothing came back to San Francisco in return.

As for the Klay Thompson trade, they could have added rotational pieces. Instead, all Golden State picked up was less-than-valuable draft compensation. This is a terrible look for owner Joe Lacob and Co. It seems as if this team went all in for Paul George. Once that never materialized, they were left flat footed. Any idea of a return to contention in the twilight of Stephen Curry’s career can now be thrown out the window. He can also be considered a loser from an indirect perspective.

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Winner: Luka Doncic

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Doncic now has two future Hall of Famers as his running mates. Sure, Thompson is not the player he was pre-injury. But the dude can still shoot the heck out of that ball.

  • Klay Thompson stats (2023-24): 17.9 PPG, 39% 3-point shooting, 92.7% 3-point

As we saw during the Mavericks’ playoff run last season, perimeter shooting was inconsistent. With Doncic being able to create his own shot and Irving doing his thing, Thompson will get consistent open looks. This is a major win for Luka after his reputation took somewhat of a hit during the NBA Finals.

Loser: Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James
Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers were said to be targeting Klay Thompson, James Harden and Jonas Valančiūnas with their mid-level exception. In fact, LeBron James would have taken a significant pay cut in order to facilitate one of those three landing in Southern California.

It was not to be. Thompson is headed to the conference rival Mavericks, Harden’s re-signed with the Clippers and Valančiūnas took a longer-term deal with the Washington Wizards. Los Angeles is back to the drawing board with very few realistic options to improve a roster that is not championship caliber.

Related: Los Angeles Lakers interested in blockbuster trade for NBA champion

Winner: Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson
Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The smallish contract aside, Thompson wanted three years. That’s exactly what he got from Dallas. The four-time champion now has an opportunity to win a fifth NBA title. That likely wouldn’t have been the case if he had returned to Golden State or opted to join King James in Southern California. This makes him a clear winner.

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