Grade the Trade: Raptors make Klay signing possible in blockbuster 3-team proposal

The Toronto Raptors could get involved in the Klay Thompson drama by joining a 3-team blockbuster and adding an athletic young wing.
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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The first day of NBA Free Agency got off to a slow start but picked up steam as the night went on, with a number of key players changing teams, none bigger than Paul George leaving the LA Clippers to sign a four-year maximum contract with the Philadelphia 76ers.

That leaves Klay Thompson as perhaps the biggest domino left to fall, and while it's been reported widely that he is expected to leave the Golden State Warriors his final destination is not yet secure. The Dallas Mavericks are considered to be the frontrunners, but they have some work to do to land the Splash Brother.

Dallas is working to sign Klay Thompson

The Mavericks seemingly recognized that it was going to take more than the $12.9 million Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception (MLE) to land Thompson, especially since his hometown Los Angeles Lakers could offer the same and the Orlando Magic were prepared to offer more. They therefore pivoted with the MLE, signing Naji Marshall to a three-year contract, and need to work out a sign-and-trade to bring Thompson in.

The difficulty is that the Mavericks need to both offload salary in a deal to make room for Thompson and put together a deal that the Warriors will be willing to take back. There are a few different ways for the Mavericks to do this, but the most likely is for Dallas to take Klay into a new $16 Traded Player Exception (TPE) generated by trading Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Detroit Pistons.

If the Warriors don't like that the Mavericks are sending back, however, then a third team will be needed. The Toronto Raptors have been quiet thus far, but that has left them flexible to take on money in a trade or to otherwise pick up value facilitating a deal.

Let's look at one such construction that would land Klay with the Mavericks, give the Warriors a solid veteran and bring another young player back to the Raptors.