Magic sneakily do Thunder huge favor with underrated free-agency move

The Orlando Magic may have done the OKC Thunder a huge favor by signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game Five
Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game Five / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

NBA free agency is upon us, and, even though the OKC Thunder have yet to make a move, already they're reaping its rewards.

Teams will be handing out enormous contracts to whomever they feel will push their team over the line and make them a contender.

However, when free agents and teams come to an agreement, they aren't just helping themselves in some cases. They are also unintentionally helping the other teams around the NBA.

For Oklahoma City, that is exactly what happened when the Orlando Magic agreed to a three-year, $66 million deal with former Denver Nuggets wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, as reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Recent Magic signing a major blessing for Thunder in NBA Free Agency

Now, why does that matter to the Thunder?

While this is a fair deal for the Magic and Caldwell-Pope, it gives the Thunder a boost in their pursuit of one certain free agent, Isaiah Hartenstein, and also hurts a conference opponent in the process as well.

With this deal, the Denver Nuggets lose out on one of the prized role players in the league in Caldwell-Pope.

This past season, he averaged 10.1 points and 1.3 steals per game and shot 40.6 percent from behind the arc.

He is a commodity every contending team wants: A high-level, 3-and-D wing.

Additionally, it also paves the way for the Nuggets to acquire Thunder legend Russell Westbrook via trade from the LA Clippers.

Nothing against Westbrook, but these transactions don't really help the Nuggets. If anything, it makes them a little worse.

The other benefit is how Orlando's use of cap space impacts their ability to sign Hartenstein.

The Magic will be using a good chunk of their cap space to sign Caldwell-Pope. They entered Sunday's opening of free agency with around $49.1 million, according to Spotrac's Keith Smith.

Now, after using roughly $22 million a year on the veteran, it will drop to $27 million left in the treasure chest.

For Hartenstein, it seems the rumored price is going to be somewhere around $20-25 million a year. With this, the Magic still have the money to sign him in addition to Caldwell-Pope, but they also are still in the running for Paul George.

Ultimately, they will have to decide who they want to turn their focus toward. They could shed weight by dealing some of their players like Wendell Carter Jr., though it is yet to be seen if they are even committed to such a task.

If that is the case, it only helps the Thunder's chances of signing Hartenstein, though don't be too quick to pencil in the big man as a sure-fire addition just yet, as OKC still has to fight off the big man's most recent team in the New York Knicks.

The Knicks could still re-sign him if they find a way to shed some money and do a couple of small transactions to get him back into their long-term plans, but it's really hard to imagine they will after taking on Mikal Bridges' contract and extending OG Anunoby to a massive new deal.

In the end, this signing might be sneakily great for the Orlando Magic, but it also has an unintended advantage for the Oklahoma City Thunder as well.