With the NBA draft and free agency creeping in, more attention is being paid to who the Orlando Magic will pair during the off-season. But on whom will the Magic Aid depend as to which players will make a comeback in the 2021-22 roster.
Orlando prioritized developing their young players during the season, ending with a 22–60 record. Expect a similar outlook for 2022-23.
“Our goal is to develop these young people,” Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Veltman said during an interview with Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi on FM 96.9 The Game’s open mic. “Everyone says you need stars in this league. Sometimes stars don’t always reveal themselves right away.
“There’s still evaluation to be done. There’s still a lot of improvements that our guys have to make and it’s going to be a lot of work. And it’s going to take time. I really don’t think we can achieve our goals going into the season.” We push them, we challenge our people to be better, and from a team building standpoint, obviously, we’d like to add more.
Because of Magic’s patient approach to rebuilding, expect players to return to standard rookie-scale contracts (Cole Anthony, Franz Wagner, Jalen Suggs, Chuma Okeke and RJ Hampton).
Wendell Carter Jr., who is coming off a breakout season and entering a 4-year first season, signed a $50 million extension last year but is guaranteed to return. So are Markel Fultz and Jonathan Isaacs, whose long-awaited return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee is expected.
Devin Kennedy, who signed a partially guaranteed 3-year deal before the 2021-21 season ended, will likely be on the roster to start the season.
He has a non-guaranteed $1.75 million salary for 2022-23. According to Sportrack, his January 10, 2023 guarantee date for the 2022-23 season gives Orlando time to make a decision on his contract.
Magic still has ways to make changes to the roster.
In this year’s draft, he has his first round picks and two second round picks (No. 32 and No. 35). The place of the first-round pick, which is guaranteed to finish in the top six, will be determined in Tuesday’s draft lottery. According to Spottrack, the Magic are also estimated to have the most practical cap space in the league ($28.7 million).
Orlando will need to make a number of roster decisions from players entering free agency or having 2022-23 options for a potential trade candidate.
Here are the predictions about who will stay and who will go, not including who Orlando was on a two-way contract (Ignas Brzedekis and Admiral Scofield) to end the season:
Moe Bamba (restricted free agent): Go
Bamba played a career-best across the board in his fourth season, including career-high average points (10.6), rebounds (8.1), blocks (1.7), assists (1.2), minutes (25.2) and games played (71). is included. 86.6% of the season.
He was one of four players, along with Jaren Jackson Jr., Christaps Porzis and Miles Turner, to average at least 1.5 blocks and 1.5 3-pointers.
More opportunities led to better production than Bamba but he improved many aspects of his game with those opportunities.
The Magic have until June 29 to make a 1-year, $10.1 million qualifying offer to make Bamba a restricted free agent, the No. 6 pick in the 2018 draft.
Before the season ends, Bamba has made it clear that he wants to return to magic. Veltman implied that Orlando would make a qualifying offer, suggesting that the Magic are interested in bringing back Bamba with rights to match offers from other teams.
The outcome of the draft lottery can affect this decision.
The Magic have the second best chance of landing the top pick and a 52.1% chance of being in the top four. Most of the top prospects in this draft class, including Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Jabari Smith and Keegan Murray, are projected to be power forwards/bigs.
Orlando already has many young forwards/bigs who need more time to develop. Bamba, 24, fits Magic’s timeline and has room to grow.
This decision may be reduced to the maximum amount of money guaranteed by any other team willing to offer Bamba.
Bol Bol (restricted free agent): Stay
Bol, who was acquired by the Magic before the February 10 trade deadline, did not play for Orlando and was officially out for the season in mid-March after having surgery on his right leg with the Denver Nuggets on January 18. had gone.
His potential is clear.
He was a 5-star prospect in high school before playing one season at Oregon, but his limited playing time (328 minutes total in 53 regular-season games with the Nuggets) since being taken with the 44th pick in the 2019 draft makes it difficult. To conclude who he is and can be as a player.
Bol’s injury history — he missed most of his solitary season in Oregon due to a stress fracture in his left leg that required surgery — doesn’t help.
At 7-foot-2 with a 7-8 wingspan, Bol fits the ideal that Magic loves and it’s clear they value his versatile skills.
The 22-year-old Bol and his abilities will draw interest from other teams. But it’s hard to see him receiving more guaranteed funding than a qualifying offer of $2.7 million, which would make Bol a restricted free agent. Magic has time till June 29 to tender.
If he does, Magic has the right to match any offer.
Gary Harris (unrestricted free agent): GO
Harris got his groove back after dealing with an injury struggle last season, shooting 11.1 points on 43.4% shooting from the field and 38.4% shooting 3s in 61 games, the most he did in a season since 2017-18. played.
He was also a positive voice as one of the few stalwarts of a young locker room.
Because of his skills in the 3-and-D wing and as a 27-year-old, Harris is expected to garner interest from other teams – especially the competitive ones – as an unrestricted free agent.
The Magic can offer Harris the most money because they own his bird rights and he’s so small that he’ll get another important contract once the next deal closes.
With Harris in control of his fortune, the offer of substantial guaranteed funding and the opportunity to play for a playoff-rivaling team could again turn him away from Orlando.
Robin Lopez (unrestricted free agent): Go
Lopez did everything by magic in his “utility man” role, giving younger players more time to play.
Like Harris, he was a key voice in the locker room as a seasoned player and produced in opportunities he found on the floor.
It’s unlikely that Magic will offer Lopez more than the $5 million he signed with Orlando for last season. He should be able to get the same amount of money from competing teams looking for a reliable backup big guy.
At 34 years and 14 seasons in his NBA career, Lopez could value the opportunity to compete for the championship, even if it took him further away from Disney World.
Terence Ross (business candidate): For now… wait
Ross, the Magic’s longest-serving player, has made it clear that he wants to continue his career elsewhere.
He is entering a 4-year last season, a $54 million contract he signed with the Magic during the 2019 off-season, with his estimated salary of $11.5 million for 2022–23 the standard mid-tier exception. ($10.3 million) by about $1 million more.
Ross thought he was being traded before the last two trade deadlines, but a deal did not materialize in no time.
Orlando isn’t settling with Ross for less than what they want in a trade and that approach likely won’t change.
Ross, 31, has not had a negative impact on the locker room and competing teams may be ready to offer more in a trade for him before the 2023 trade deadline – with Orlando to trade Ross on his current deal. Last chance – when they have better ideas about their needs.
Don’t be surprised if Ross starts next season with the Magic but finishes elsewhere.
Mo Wagner (non-guaranteed deal): Stay
Wagner will have a salary of $1.9 million for the 2022-23 season if he is on the roster before June 30.
He averaged a career-high 9 points and 3.7 rebounds in 15.2 minutes (63 games) last season and has since joined Orlando late (62.4 percent at 2-pointers) and beyond the arc (3.6% at 3-pointers). pointers) have been productive. In 2020-21.
Wagner has been a solid spark plug off the bench. Changing their output for their low wages is not easy.
This article first appeared on orlandosentinel.com, email at cost email@example.com or follow him on twitter @khobi_price,