Barring a major collapse over the next few weeks, the Orlando Magic will make the playoffs for the second consecutive season. This year hasn’t gone the way the Magic would have wanted this season due to injuries to key rotation players and inconsistencies on offense have not allowed the team to reach its maximum potential.
Even though the Magic doesn’t have a maximum space to land a major free agent this summer, they could have some room to add a piece or tow. Now let’s look at what the roster will look like going into the off-season. (All figures are from our good friend Yahoo Sports NBA Writer Keith Smith).
Players Under Contract: (8)
- Nikola Vucevic- $26,000,000 (two more guaranteed seasons after 2020-21)
- Aaron Gordon- $18,136,364 (one more guaranteed season in 2021-22)
- Terrance Ross- $13,500,000 (two more guaranteed seasons after 2020-21)
- Markelle Fultz- $12,288,698 (he has a qualifying/restricted offer for the 2021-22 season)
- Al-Farouq Aminu- $9,720,000 (he has a player option in the 2021-22 season)
- Jonathan Issac- $7,362,566 (he has a qualifying/restricted offer for the 2021-22 season)
- Mohamed Bamba- $5,969,040 one team option and one qualifying/restricted offer in the 2022-23 season)
- Khem Birch- $3,000,000
The Magic are locked in with this group for a while and that’s not a bad thing. If they need to make a trade, none of the big salary players (Vucevic, Gordon or Ross) have contracts that are completely untradeable. Orlando’s future depends on how they handle both Issac and Fultz’s contract situations this summer. Both players will be in their final years before restricted free agency and both are considered major pieces in the future of the team.
Fultz has been healthiest he has ever been in his young career. He’s only missed one game this season and has paid major dividends so far. The only thing he’s missing is his confidence in shooting from beyond the arc. He’s only shooting 24.3% from downtown which is way lower than his one college season that he shot 41% from deep.
Issac has all the tools to be a star in this league, but his health has been the only thing holding him back. He has missed major time in two of his three seasons in the league. After only playing in 27 games as a rookie, he played 32 games this year before being shut down due to left knee injury in January.
Players with Options: (3)
- Evan Fournier- $17,150,000 (player)
- James Ennis III- $2,130,023 (player)
- Melvin Frazier Jr.- $1,663,861 (team)
To opt-in or not to opt-in that is the question for Evan Fournier. He has a $17.1 million dollar option for next season and is looking for a long-term contract. The major question for the Magic front office is; do you pay Fournier over the next couple of seasons and keep this core group together longer. Evan is in the middle of the best season of his career averaging a career-high 18.9 points and having career highs in both field goal and three-point percentages.
Now he can enter a pretty weak free agent class this summer and attempt to gain his long-term contract or he can opt-in and join a deep class in 2021 and still might not get his big payday.
I can see Ennis opting in to his $2.13 million next season and have a full-time home at the beginning of next season. Frazier hasn’t proved much in his two years in the league and has spent more time in Lakeland than on the main roster. But at $1.6 million, his contract isn’t all that bad to pick up.
Players with Non-Guaranteed Contracts: (0)
Orlando has no players with this type of contract.
Players with Qualifying Offers: (2)
- Wesley Iwundu- $2,023,150
- Gary Clark- $1,907,576
The Magic have two players with qualifying offers for 2020 and both players have reason to have it picked up and not to have it picked up. With Iwundu, he’s one of the teams best on-ball defenders and one of the hardest working players on the roster. But he doesn’t provide much offensively, and Orlando has a multitude of players who play the same spot (Gordon, Ross, Chuma Okeke and Frazier).
So, unless Wesley can pick up the scoring over the next few weeks as the playoff approach for the Magic, he could be the odd man out.
Gary Clark was added to the team officially on February 8th after signing two 10-day contracts in January. But with the number of small forwards and then you add on Issac, Aminu and Birch, Clark might be the odd man out.