Serge Ibaka opened camp with the Magic this week by expressing a desire to remain with the franchise for the long term, but as Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel writes, those comments don’t mean much unless Ibaka is repeating them next July. In Schmitz’s view, it will require a Magic playoff berth – or something very close to it – for Ibaka to maintain interest in re-upping with the team when his contract expires next summer. In that scenario, the Magic would have room to re-sign Ibaka and land another noteworthy free agent, but it will depend on how the team’s season plays out.
Here’s more from around the Southeast division:
- The Hornets made a handful of free agent signings this summer, but one of their most important additions is being called a “de facto” free agent signing by head coach Steve Clifford. As Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes, Clifford feels that getting a healthy Michael Kidd-Gilchrist back for the 2016/17 campaign will be like adding a new player for the Hornets. The former No. 2 overall pick played just seven games last year due to shoulder problems.
- In a separate piece for The Observer, Bonnell examines Christian Wood‘s role in Charlotte, noting that the young power forward will likely spend a good chunk of the year with the Greensboro Swarm, the Hornets’ D-League affiliate.
- Josh McRoberts revealed today that he broke his foot during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in May, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). Before McRoberts made that announcement, Winderman had examined the potential role this season for the Heat forward, who is limited in camp as his foot continues to recover.