Shams: Mutual Interest Between Magic, Klay Thompson

The Magic have been cited as a potential suitor for Klay Thompson in free agency this summer, and it sounds as if their interest won’t be unrequited. Shams Charania of The Athletic suggested today during an appearance on FanDuel’s Run it Back show (Twitter video link) that Thompson is intrigued by Orlando.

“I’m told there is mutual interest between the Magic and Klay Thompson,” Charania said. “Thompson, along with several other vets around the league, are looking at the Magic as a situation where if you plug in a guy like Klay Thompson, you plug in another veteran player – whether it be at the point guard position (or) the shooting guard position – this team can make a real jump around Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner.”

As Charania notes, the Magic are in position to create a significant chunk of cap room in order to go shopping for scoring and shooting help this offseason. Bobby Marks of ESPN suggested (via Twitter) that Orlando will have about $32MM in cap room even if the team opts to pick up team options and guarantee salaries for Jonathan Isaac, Joe Ingles, Moritz Wagner, and Caleb Houstan. The club’s cap space would increase further if any of those players are let go.

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports stated last month that the Magic are expected to look at free agents like Thompson and Malik Monk this offseason, while Tim Kawakami of The Athletic said around the same time that Orlando’s willingness to potentially offer the longtime Warriors sharpshooter a significant amount of money is one of the league’s “worst-kept secrets.”

If Thompson is legitimately interested in joining the Magic, as Charania suggests, the possibility of his departure from the Warriors looks much more viable. It’s worth noting that the 34-year-old has repeatedly said his preference is to remain with Golden State, so Orlando and other suitors could ultimately be used for leverage purposes. But role and salary are expected to be serious considerations for Thompson, and the Magic are well positioned to make a strong pitch on both fronts.

Thompson averaged 17.9 points per game on .432/.387/.927 shooting in 77 appearances for the Warriors this season. He was removed from the team’s starting lineup for 14 games in February and March before being reinserted into that group down the stretch.

Thompson remains eligible to sign an extension with the Warriors up until June 30, which could keep him off the free agent market. However, he reportedly passed on a two-year, $48MM offer prior to the season and there has been no indication that the two sides have had serious discussions as of late.

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