I think either player will fit in well with the Lakers. If the Lakers want a better defensive player, Leonard is the go-to choice. If they want a better offensive player, Leonard is still the go-to choice.
It sounds silly comparing Leonard and Thompson when they are not a lot. Leonard is easily the better player but he has ruffled a lot of feathers lately. His ultimatum to the San Antonio Spurs may have rubbed the Lakers the wrong way. Why should the Lakers or the rest of the NBA care about that dilemma?
I think that because it is the Spurs, people are annoyed about it. The Spurs are known as one of the best organizations in the NBA. Leonard holding out and forcing a trade seemed petty and teams don't like players that don't listen. Players do what Leonard did often but they usually get traded before it gets that far.
Recently, players have become more vocal about their displeasure and are letting teams know early that they are going to leave. Teams don't want to be defenseless. Now that players know that they have the power, teams will be wary of players that tend to rebel.
This is where Thompson comes in. He is one of the friendliest, easy going players in the NBA. He doesn't do anything wrong, has a great image off the court and is well liked by most players. On top of that, he is one of the best shooters in the NBA and the Lakers can see why he would be a better fit than a player that is better than him.
Voicing your opinion shouldn't get you blackballed but Leonard knew he would be looked down upon for his actions. That didn't prevent the Lakers from trying to trade for him. Now that they have more options, they can be more picky.
Luckily for Leonard, the Los Angeles Clippers are also located in his hometown. They want Leonard and it looks like they are going to land him because they haven't shunned him like the Lakers did by preferring Thompson over Leonard.
This is tricky because Thompson may resign with the Golden State Warriors and the Lakers may end up with neither player. They shouldn't have let their preference be known to the public because it might come back to haunt them.