SUNDAY, 1:58pm: The team announced it has exercised the options on each of the players, Robbins tweets.
TUESDAY, 11:24am: Shabazz Napier‘s strong preseason performance has won over the Magic, who plan to pick up their $1,350,120 team option for 2016/17 on his rookie scale contract, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. The team is also planning to exercise its rookie scale options on Aaron Gordon, Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton, according to Robbins, but unlike those three, the team wasn’t quite convinced about the option for Napier heading into camp, Robbins indicates.
The deadline for all four options is Monday, November 2nd, and Orlando is expected to make the moves official soon after its last preseason game on Friday, Robbins writes. The options add up to precisely $14.868MM, lifting the Magic’s payroll for 2016/17 to more than $60.5MM against a projected $89MM cap.
Napier, 24, is fifth on the team in preseason points per game, with 10.2, and is putting up that number in just 17.0 minutes per contest. The point guard whom the Magic acquired for virtually nothing in a trade with the Heat this summer has posted 2.2 assists and 1.2 turnovers per game in his five preseason appearances. That’s slightly better than the 2.2-to-1.6 assists-to-turnover ratio he put up in his rookie season with Miami last year, and he’s scoring at about double the rate he did with the Heat.
The 2014 Final Four Most Outstanding Player went 24th overall in the 2014 draft on the same night the Magic came away with Gordon and Payton, who were top-10 picks. Payton finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting while injury limited Gordon’s impact. Oladipo was the second pick in the 2013 draft and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2014.
I regarded the option pickup for Napier as generally likely, while the same move for Gordon, Payton and Oladipo seemed highly likely. The options for Napier, Gordon and Payton are for the third seasons of their respective rookie scale contracts, which cover four years. The option for Oladipo is for his fourth season, and he’ll be eligible for a rookie scale extension next summer.
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