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Dirk Nowitzki’s Former Teammate Rejects Klay Thompson’s Pairing With Paolo Banchero

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Dirk Nowitzki's Former Teammate Rejects Klay Thompson's Pairing With Paolo Banchero

The Orlando Magic should’ve been preparing for Game 1 of a second-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, but they are at home, licking their wounds after blowing a 17-point lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7 of their back-and-forth first-round series. Orlando, true to their name, had a magical regular season and pushed the Cavaliers to the limit in the playoffs, but the roster’s lack of experience came to the fore when they found themselves in a scoring rut in the series decider.

The Magic are expected to address that issue in the offseason. Per Sportac, Orlando has over $66 million in cap space, enough to add multiple star players to continue their ascend next year. On the Run It Back podcast, NBA insider Shams Charania revealed that four-time NBA champion Klay Thompson is on the team’s wishlist and the two sides have a “mutual interest” in joining forces. However, former Dallas Mavericks star Chandler Parsons believes the Magic will be better served spending their money elsewhere. He said,

“I don’t love [the Magic signing Klay Thompson]. I think they’ve the opportunity to force the Golden State Warriors’ hand into paying him a lot more money than they are trying to do and I do think Shams hit on the note, they do need shooting. They need players to space the floor to let Franz Wagner, to let Paolo [Banchero] go to work. I’d rather see them go get a Brandon Ingram, I’d rather see them go get a Paul George. I don’t know if Klay Thompson can be a number one guy on a lot of nights anymore.”

Parsons added that the Magic could also consider Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell and Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young as potential targets.

Russell and George are seasoned veterans who could raise the Magic’s ceiling exponentially and bring in some calm experienced heads in a young locker room, while Young and Ingram are excellent long-term options, who could become a core part of the franchise’s future.

The possibilities are aplenty, including Thompson, but the former Mavericks star doesn’t want the Magic to add him to their roster for good reason.

Why Klay Thompson isn’t the right option for the Mavericks

Klay Thompson is among the most accomplished players to be available in free agency this offseason. The Golden State Warriors icon is a four-time NBA champion with five All-Star appearances on his stacked resume, but he’s coming off a down year.

He averaged 17.9 points in the regular season, marking the first time since the 2013-14 campaign that he failed to average at least 20 per game. He also shot under 40% from beyond the arc for only the second time in his illustrious NBA career.

Thompson capped off a weak season, by his lofty standards, with the worst performance of his career in the Warriors’ do-or-die play-in tournament game against the Sacramento Kings. The veteran forward shot 0-of-10, including 0-of-6 from beyond the arc, and failed to score a single point in his team’s season-ending loss.

Thompson turned 34 in February and his terrorizing shooting prowess is waning. The veteran guard is eyeing one last massive contract before riding off into the sunset, which isn’t ideal for the Magic, who are looking for a star who could help them become an Eastern Conference powerhouse in the coming years. With that outlook, a younger star like Brandon Ingram or Trae Young would serve their purpose better.

While Thompson could bounce back and provide the Magic with the shooting prowess and the veteran leadership they crave, it’d be a massive gamble to hand a huge contract to a 34-year-old guard coming off his worst campaign in a decade.

Post Edited By:Sameen Nawathe

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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