Pacific rival's huge free agency win could prove major Warriors loss

Sacramento Kings v Golden State Warriors
Sacramento Kings v Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

Despite being still over a week until the start of free agency, Thursday wasn't a great day for the Golden State Warriors who were indirectly impacted by a pair of significant moves around the league.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, a top contender in the Western Conference, not only got stronger by trading Josh Giddey for Alex Caruso, but in doing so also removed one of the Warriors' most intriguing potential targets. Then, late on Thursday, the pacific rival Sacramento Kings also got a boost in re-signing guard Malik Monk to a new deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Sacramento Kings success in re-signing Malik Monk could have a two-fold negative impact on the Golden State Warriors

Many thought Monk, who finished second in Sixth Man of the Year voting this season, would command significantly more than the maximum four-year, $78 million contract the Kings were able to offer.

Not only does this fail to weaken a Sacramento team who are likely to be directly competing with Golden State for a playoff spot next season, but it could also have a domino effect on the future of Klay Thompson.

In terms of prospective free agent shooting guards, Monk's age and recent production may have well made him a more desirable target than the Warriors' veteran sharpshooter. His removal from the free agency picture may bump Thompson up the list of options for rival teams, placing Golden State at greater risk of losing the five-time All-Star.

Even more specifically, the Orlando Magic could have had significant interest in Monk to fill their need of more shooting and shot-creation. Last month, Locked on Kings host and ABC10 reporter Matt George wrote that the Magic "should be the betting favorite to sign Malik Monk."

With that now longer an option, Orlando could well intensify their interest in Thompson with whom they've been linked to as far back as February. The Athletic's Shams Charania and Anthony Slater reiterated earlier in the week that there remains mutual interest between the Magic and Thompson.

With Monk now out of the free agency landscape, LA Clippers star Paul George now presents as the key piece that could impact Thompson's future and whether or not the Warriors can bring back their franchise legend.