NBA

Report: Potential Malik Monk suitor has interest in Klay Thompson

May 6, 2024, 12:00 PM

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 30: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors dribbles against ...

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Sacramento Kings fans will hold their breaths next month when beloved Sixth Man of the Year runner-up Malik Monk enters unrestricted free agency.

Monk, who posted back-to-back career years with the Kings while playing on a two-year, $19.4 million deal, will look to secure a big payday this summer–one that some speculate could exceed Sacramento’s spending limit.

Due to collective bargaining agreement specifications, the Kings can only offer Monk up to $78 million over four years since they do not own his full Bird rights (the ability to go over the cap to retain players). Teams get full Bird rights for a player who has spent three years on its roster, and Monk’s two-year deal puts him just short.

Teams with cap space are expected to line up for Monk, with the Orlando Magic widely speculated as a fit for the dynamic guard.

While Monk is believed to be on Orlando’s radar this summer, another Pacific Division guard could get first dibs on a free-agent contract: Klay Thompson.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Magic and longtime Golden State Warriors sharpshooter have “mutual interest” as the start date of NBA free agency (June 30th) approaches.

More on the mutual interest between Klay Thompson & the Magic

As Charania stated, Orlando could free up to $60 million in cap space this summer as they look to add to its roster that came within one win of advancing to the second round of the NBA Playoffs.

The Magic (47-35) turned heads in 2023-24 by clinching its first postseason appearance since 2019-20, but there are needs to address this summer, with the three-point line at the top of the to-do list.

Orlando finished the season ranked dead-last in made three-point field goals, 29th in three-point field goal attempts, and 24th in three-point field goal percentage (.352).

The Magic’s interest in Thompson isn’t surprising, as the longtime Warrior has a career three-point field goal percentage of 41 percent during his 11 seasons.

Adding Thompson to a lineup that includes rising star Paolo Banchero, talented forward Franz Wagner, and two-way guard Jalen Suggs would provide the Magic with a much-needed perimeter presence–one that could outweigh their need for an on-ball playmaker like Monk.

If Orlando pivots away from Monk and signs Thompson, only a few teams with notable cap space, such as the NBA-worst Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz, and San Antonio Spurs, would remain as teams that could pry the guard out of the 916.

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Would Monk turn down $78 million from the Kings to accept more money from a losing situation like Detroit or San Antonio? During his end-of-season press conference, the guard clarified that money won’t be the end-all, be-all in his free-agent process.

“I can go somewhere else with a lot more money and be in a worse situation. So you never know,” Monk said on April 22nd. “I think it’s going to play out the right way.”

Teams that are closer to contention like the 76ers, who will be busy as they look to build around franchise big man Joel Embiid, and Orlando, a team on the rise with plenty of young talent, have been considered the main threats to lure Monk out of Sacramento.

If the Magic sign Thompson, one has to wonder if that helps the Kings’ chances of signing Monk to a four-year deal and keeping the dynamic Kentucky duo that includes De’Aaron Fox intact for years to come.

When is the next Sacramento Kings offseason date of interest?

For the first time in two years, the Sacramento Kings will be crossing its fingers for luck during the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery.

The 2024 NBA Draft Lottery will be held on Sunday, May 12, 2024, in Chicago, where Sacramento will have the 13th-best odds of securing the top pick.

How the Lottery works: The 14 teams that missed out on the NBA playoffs are eligible for the Draft Lottery. The final odds were determined after the regular season, and tie breaks were settled between teams with identical regular season records.

NBA Offseason Schedule

  • Sunday, May 12 – NBA Draft Lottery
  • Wednesday, June 26-Thursday, June 27th – 2024 NBA Draft
  • Sunday, June 30th – Free Agent negotiating window opens (3 PM PST)
  • Saturday, July 6th – Free Agents can officially sign contracts
  • July 12-22nd – Las Vegas Summer League
  • July 27-August 11th – 2024 Olympic Games
  • Friday, September 27th – NBA training camps begin

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