Young playoff team may be primed to raid Golden State Warriors in free agency

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves
Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors are one of a host of NBA teams will little financial flexibility this offseason, leaving ample opportunity for those few with cap space to make their presence felt in free agency.

The Orlando Magic are one of those teams -- after making the playoffs for the first time since 2020, they'll have up to $35 million in cap room and potentially $60 million should they decline team options on Joe Ingles and Mo Wagner, along with waiving Jonathan Isaac's non-guaranteed contract.

Already heavily linked to Klay Thompson, the Orlando Magic could also look to steal Chris Paul from the Golden State Warriors

Looking to take the next step behind star young forward Paolo Banchero, the Magic could blow rival teams out of the water with a big offer to one or multiple free agents. The Warriors are one of those teams that need to be wary, with the young Eastern Conference team already having been heavily linked to free agent Klay Thompson.

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania on Monday, there is mutual interest between Thompson and the Magic. But the veteran sharpshooter isn't the only Warrior who could be on Orlando's radar, with Chris Paul also a potential option should he become a free agent as expected.

Discussing the Magic's roster needs heading into the offseason, The Ringer's Ryen Russillo identified both Thompson and Paul as fits for the franchise on a recent episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast.

"It's funny cos' I actually think two Warriors would fit the bill here. Could Chris Paul play 20 minutes and unclog some of this? I don't know what people think of Chris Paul at this point, and I don't know if this team would be good enough for him to sign on for less money."

Ryen Russillo

Paul has a $30 million non-guaranteed deal for next season, a contract Golden State are expected to waive unless they utilize it as part of a trade. Assuming he does get waived, Orlando would have an opportunity to pounce on the 39-year-old as a free agent.

The 12-time All-Star did prove himself a capable 20-25 minute per game player with the Warriors, averaging 9.2 points and 6.8 assists on a healthy 37.1% from three-point range. Would the Magic interest Paul as a new destination? Perhaps not but it does make sense from a basketball standpoint, and the opportunity to play with an ascending superstar in Banchero has to be an enticing one.

While it's unlikely that the Magic would be able to land both Paul and Thompson, it's a possible scenario and they certainly remain the biggest threat to the Warriors in terms of losing the veteran duo.