One Orlando Magic rumor won't die, and it makes more sense every day

There is a new rumor willing to connect the Orlando Magic to a familiar shooting guard. As the season winds down and the Playoffs approach, it makes at least some greater sense every day.
Klay Thompson is trying to get a new contract with the Golden State Warriors. The Orlando Magic are once again the boogeyman out there to steal him away from the Warriors.
Klay Thompson is trying to get a new contract with the Golden State Warriors. The Orlando Magic are once again the boogeyman out there to steal him away from the Warriors. / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The final week of the Orlando Magic's season has not really gone to plan.

The team's win over the Chicago Bulls vaulted the Orlando Magic to third in the Eastern Conference momentarily. Their loss to the Houston Rockets dropped them to fourth and tied in the win column with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers. The surging Philadelphia 76ers are breathing down their neck.

Welcome to the final week of the season and the wild swings of the Playoffs. The Magic are going through a rough spot at the worst time with a difficult schedule ahead.

But one win can make everything feel better.

There is rightful fretting over the Magic's current situation and state. There is rightful frustration that the Magic could throw away 79 games of good work with a losing streak at the wrong time of the year and fall back into the Play-In after sitting comfortably in the fight for homecourt advantage for the last month.

Welcome to Playoff basketball though. This is what it looks and feels like. Everyone has to respond and that is something the team has to learn.

As frustrating as that can be, there is some perspective that is needed.

The Magic have already improved by 10 wins for the second straight season. They have already clinched a postseason spot after missing the postseason for the last four seasons. They have already set their path to a bright future and shown the entire league what they are capable of this year.

Everyone understands the Magic as currently constructed are not a final roster. The team has money to spend this offseason and now has shown the potential that could entice a major free agent.

And everyone still has a clear idea of who that might be.

Ah, yes, the Klay Thompson rumors are back.

Tim Kawakami of The Athletic updated Klay Thompson's progress this week for the Golden State Warriors -- he scored 27 points in Tuesday's major win over the Los Angeles Lakers following a 32-point effort against the Utah Jazz on Sunday. And he added this critical nugget:

"One of the worst-kept secrets in the league is that Orlando, loaded with young talent but not with shooters, might offer Klay a ton of money next summer," Kawakami writes. "Meanwhile, Joe Lacob has said the Warriors want to get all the way out of the luxury tax next summer, which is possible, but only if they are very disciplined about how much they’re willing to pay to keep Klay (and/or CP3)."

This has followed several rounds of reporting connecting Thompson to the Magic at the trade deadline and beyond. Thompson has had an up-and-down season but still averages 17.7 points per game and shoots 38.6 percent from beyond the arc.

The Magic as a team rank 22nd in 3-point field goal percentage. And certainly, their poor 3-point shooting decreases their margin for error in games like Tuesday night's game when the defense is not playing at an elite level.

Everyone can see the Magic need shooting. And so it makes more sense every day to target one of the greatest shooters in the league's history in a player like Thompson. Even if it comes on a short-term deal.

The Magic after all added a championship-level player in Horace Grant to their playoff debut in 1994 and reached the NBA Finals the following year. They could use a similar impact player with playoff know-how.

That certainly seems like it would come in handy this week during the final Playoff push. This team has a lot to learn.

It is important to note everything connecting Thompson to the Magic is coming from the West Coast. It is all Warriors or national reporters with ties to Golden State. And most of the conversation bringing up Orlando seems to be professional dot-connecting.

These rumors really do feel like Thompson's agent trying to use the up-and-coming Magic as leverage to get a richer contract from the Warriors.

Still, it is hard not to think this makes some sense for the Magic. The spacing Thompson provides would be huge and he would not take the ball out of Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner's hands, not meaningfully changing how the Magic operate.

The other player the team has already been rumored to be connected with is D'Angelo Russell -- and that too was reported under the terms of the Los Angeles Lakers fearing the Orlando Magic swooping in with a big contract offer.

At this point, nobody knows what the Magic want to do in free agency. But everyone senses they will flex some muscles.

Their winning window is open with where they sit in the standings in the final week (no matter where they finish). The Magic should be aggressive to improve their standing in the Eastern Conference.

And obviously, they need shooting to get there. That is the biggest thing they need to fix to improve their offense. It is the biggest need.

Next. Magic Road Warriors 04.10.24. Orlando Magic will have to become road warriors to end season. dark

What will the Magic do? It is anybody's guess. But the noise is getting louder even as the Magic are trying to focus on reaching the postseason.