Wаrrіorѕ Stаr Klаy Thomрѕon, Rіѕіng Plаyoff Teаm Hаve Mutuаl Intereѕt: Inѕіder

Is it the end of an era for the Golden State Warriors?

Steph Curry shares thoughts on Klay Thompson's new bench role - Yahoo Sports

Warriors star Klay Thompson may leave the Bay area this summer and take his talent to Disney World, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

“The [Orlando] Magic can open up in excess of $60 million in cap space this offseason,” Charania reported on “Run It Back” on FanDuel TV on May 6. “So there are gonna be players when you think about free agency and other moves that can be made you look at scoring. In Game 7, obviously the Magic struggled a little bit to score the ball, especially in the second half of the game when the [Cleveland Cavaliers] and Donovan Mitchell kept coming for them. So you look at the point guard position but also shooting and scoring on the wing and one name to keep an eye on is Klay Thompson. I’m told there is mutual interest between the magic and Klay Thompson.”

The Magic appeared on track to advance to the second round of the playoffs when they led by 18 points in the first half of Game 7. But their offense sputtered in the second half and fell to the wrong end of history in the largest Game 7 comeback.


Plug-and-Play Klay

Despite a down season for Thompson, the Magic views him as a plug-and-play veteran who could help them avoid that second half mishap in Game 7 and follow through on their breakout season — the first playoff appearance of their young core under coach Jamahl Mosley.

Thompson feels the same way.

“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, shooting opposition, this team can make a real jump around Paulo Banchero and Franz Wagner,” Charania added. “Both guys, Paolo Banchero — already a star, already a guy that’s been a part of the team USA — and Franz Wagner, who has the ability to potentially be an All-Star as well, but if you plug in some more shooting and scoring, I think that’s what can take this Orlando team to another level.”

“The Magic can open up an excess of sixty million dollars in cap space this off season…One name to keep an eye on, Klay Thompson, I’m told there is mutual interest between the Magic and Klay Thompson.”

@ShamsCharania on the Magic’s future plans.

📺: t.co/oxMs3CAEGu

The Magic finished last in 3-pointers made this season, averaging only 11.0 per game. They were worse in the playoffs, sinking only 10.3 against the Cavaliers.

Thompson could come in and help them in that area. The former five-time All-Star is 41.3% career 3-point shooter as he averaged 3.1 per game. This season, he averaged 3.5 3s per game despite his fluctuating role on a contract year.


‘We Need Klay Back’

Warriors coach Steve Kerr and general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. expressed their desire to have Thompson back for next season following their disappointing play-in exit.

“We need Klay back,” Kerr told reporters after their 118-94 play-in loss to the Sacramento Kings on April 16. “He’s still got good years left. And I know I speak for everybody in the organization: We want him back. … What Klay has meant to this franchise and as good as he still is, we desperately want him back.”

Dunleavy, for his part, said he believes Thompson also wants to stay with the team he only played for in the NBA.

“I think it’s a mutual feeling,” Dunleavy said on April 18. “The guy’s been here a long time, he means so much to the organization. We really value him, so there’s nothing that would make me think that he wants to go somewhere else or we don’t want him back. For that reason, I’m hopeful we can make it happen, but it’s a deal. Both sides have to be good with it, and we’ll work through that.”

But with the Warriors unwilling to pay a luxury tax for a non-playoff team, it remains to be seen whether Thompson would be amenable to return on a reasonable contract or be blown off by Magic’s offer of one last big payday and compete in the playoffs in a weaker conference.

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