Ranking 10 Free Agent destinations if Klay Thompson walks away from the Warriors

Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
9 of 11

No. 3: Philadelphia 76ers

At this point, a tier break happens on this list. Each of the first seven teams listed had large, potentially insurmountable hurdles to signing Klay Thompson. The win-now teams didn't have the financial flexibility to sign him outright, and the cap space teams had little incentive to use their space on an older player when their own cores were so young.

The final three teams on this list are significantly better candidates to be able to sign Klay Thompson and to want to sign him. That starts with the Philadelphia 76ers, who are likely to enter this summer with anywhere from $44 million to $64 million in cap space. They will have an MVP candidate in Joel Embiid, a rising star in Tyrese Maxey and otherwise carte blanche to remake the roster around them.

Movement shooters have always thrived alongside Joel Embiid, dating back to JJ Redick or Seth Curry putting defenses in knots. If Embiid has the ball and runs a dribble handoff with Thompson, what is a defense to do? Stay with Klay and Embiid is rumbling into the paint with a leverage advantage. Stay with Embiid, and one of the five greatest shooters of all time has an open look.

The 76ers have a lot of options this summer in using that space, and they may like Buddy Hield in that role more than Thompson. It's also possible they see Klay as the best version of that player archetype and prioritize signing him. If they want him, there's a very real chance they could get him.