Klay Thompson believes he could be Mavs’ missing piece after leaving Warriors

Klay Thompson poses with his jersey after an NBA news conference at the Dallas Mavericks basketball team's practice facility in Dallas, Tuesday, July 9, 2024.(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

By SCHUYLER DIXON | AP Sports Writer

DALLAS (AP) — Klay Thompson remembers telling Luka Doncic he thought the Dallas superstar was on a path to greatness after the Warriors beat the Mavericks in the Western Conference finals two years ago.

Now that Thompson has left the only NBA team he has known in 13 years to join Doncic and Kyrie Irving in Texas, he’s ready to celebrate with, rather than console, the 25-year-old sensation.

“He was real gracious in defeat,” Thompson said of Doncic on Tuesday during his introductory news conference with the Mavs. “I just appreciate someone who is not afraid of the moment and competes till the end. Luka fits that bill. I think we’ll be able to bring the best out of each other.”

The Warriors went on to win the last of their four championships with Thompson and Stephen Curry in 2022.

Two years later, an admittedly difficult season for Thompson ended with his scoreless 0-for-10 showing in a loss to Sacramento in the play-in tournament.

He suspected that might be the end of his time with the team that drafted him 11th overall in 2011.

“Sometimes change can spur greatness, Thompson said of leaving the Warriors. “A new change of scenery can do wonders. I’m very grateful for my time at Golden State, but I just felt like moving on could just reenergize me.”

Thompson disappointed his dad, Los Angeles Lakers player-turned-broadcaster Mychal Thompson, by picking Doncic and Irving over LeBron James and Anthony Davis in free agency.

Watching the Mavs lose to Boston in five games in the NBA Finals had plenty to do with the decision.

“I was watching just as a basketball fan, and I did see, like, ‘Man, I could really help this team. They’re right there,’” Thompson said. “Not big adjustments, but just very little adjustments from getting over the top. We’re knocking on the door, and that’s what really got me excited to be here.”

Thompson joined the Mavericks in a sign-and-trade deal involving six teams and a $50 million, three-year contract for the 34-year-old, a five-time All-Star. The Warriors received forward Kyle Anderson and 3-point specialist Buddy Hield.

Klay Thompson poses with his jersey after an NBA news conference at the Dallas Mavericks basketball team’s practice facility in Dallas, Tuesday, July 9, 2024.(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) 

Dallas also added free agent forward Naji Marshall on a $27 million, three-year deal and acquired Quentin Grimes from Detroit in a trade that sent Tim Hardaway Jr. and three second-round picks to the Pistons.

Marshall and Grimes were already on board when they got news of the Thompson deal.

“I told everybody, ‘I’m about to get a ring,’” said Grimes, who was born and raised in the Houston area. “One of the best shooters of all time, for me as a shooter coming in, I’m going to learn from him every day. We’ve got a good group of guys, and when we got Klay, I’m like, ‘The sky’s the limit.’”

Thompson has had two full seasons since knee and Achilles injuries that sidelined him for …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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