"Would make a lot of sense" - Another young playoff team floated for Warriors' free agent

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors
Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The Orlando Magic have been heavily linked to Golden State Warriors veteran Klay Thompson this offseason, but they may not be the only young playoff team who could hold interest in the 5x All-Star.

Despite a disappointing year that even saw him moved to the bench in the second half of the season, Thompson's elite shooting ability will undoubtedly appeal to rival teams in need of more perimeter threats.

One of those could be the Oklahoma City Thunder, with the ascending Western Conference rival floated as a potential destination for Thompson by ESPN's Chris Herring on Tuesday.

The rising Oklahoma City Thunder could be an ideal destination for Golden State Warriors free agent Klay Thompson

While their rise to the West's first-seed this season could be sufficient motivation for Thompson, Herring also believes the Thunder could offer a length of contract the Warriors may be not willing to meet.

"He would need considerable incentive to leave the Warriors, who seem set on making one last push with their championship core. But perhaps the Thunder -- who still have a couple years before they realistically need to worry about the punishing luxury tax aprons due to their youth -- would construct a deal with Thompson that includes more years than Golden State would agree to."

Chris Herring

As Herring points out, the Thunder would make a lot of sense for Thompson from an on-court perspective. They could provide him with the starting two-guard role next to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, allowing him to play alongside another MVP calibre guard as he has throughout his career with Stephen Curry. From the Thunder's standpoint, having an elite sharpshooter in Thompson is a far better fit than Josh Giddey who most expect them to move on from in the coming months.

Even from a defensive standpoint, there may be less reliance on Thompson in OKC than there has been with Golden State. Lu Dort would still the primary perimeter defender, while Chet Holmgren's shot-blocking ability could help alleviate some of Thompson's concerns on that end.

Many of Thompson's recent issues have stemmed from the pressure of needing to be the Warriors' second offensive option, but with the Thunder he may be the third or fourth option behind Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams and perhaps even Holmgren.

The Thunder may have flamed out on their latest veteran addition in Gordon Hayward, but they could strike gold with Thompson who remains an impactful player, not to mention the playoff and championship experience he'd bring to a still very young team.