Orlando Magic Rumors

Poll: Which Rebuild Will Pay Off First?

July 31 at 7:54pm CDT By Cray Allred

We are well acclimated to claims of “rebuilding” being met with charges of “tanking” when teams aggressively clear veteran salary and acquire assets while plummeting to the bottom of the standings. However you view teams that go into win-later mode, the reality is that many franchises are convinced that the method is the best bet to build a long-term winner.

I’ve summarized the moves for each team that won 25 games or fewer last season. This excludes the Lakers and Kings, teams in the Western Conference with recent records and expectations that typify a rebuild, but front offices using the free agent and trade markets to gain older, more expensive talent in ways that defy a standard rebuild.

  1. Orlando: The Magic began the offseason by trading away their best veteran piece in Arron Afflalo, the kind of move typical for a team doubling down on rebuilding efforts. However, they have since added veteran free agents Channing Frye, Ben Gordon, and Luke Ridnour, all of whom could be more productive as starters then their younger positional counterparts in Orlando. The Magic also added lottery picks in point guard Elfrid Payton and power forward Aaron Gordon to their young core of Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic, and Tobias Harris. Orlando owns all of its future first-round draft picks, and is owed many second rounders in the next few years. Head coach Jacque Vaughn is the longest tenured among these teams, entering just his third season on the bench.
  2. Milwaukee: The new Bucks owners are resigned to a rebuild that will take years to complete, but the team didn’t arrive in this position by design. Milwaukee followed up a playoff berth in 2013 with moves meant to maintain competitiveness, but injuries and poor performance sunk them last season. However, Giannis Antetokounmpo, selected outside of the lottery by the Bucks last year, has proven to be a talent more in line with the top tier of the draft. They added phenom Jabari Parker with this year’s No. 2 pick, as well as head coach Jason Kidd after his unceremonious departure from Brooklyn. The first year of Larry Sanders‘ four-year, $44MM contract kicks in this season, and the team is also locked into pricey contracts with Ersan Ilyasova, O.J. Mayo, and Zaza Pachulia for at least the next two seasons. The Bucks have made modest backcourt additions in Jerryd Bayless and Kendall Marshall this offseason. Milwaukee owns all of its future first-round draft picks, and is owed many second rounders in the next few years.
  3. Philadelphia: Largely viewed as the most calculated tanker in the league, the Sixers haven’t done much to sway that notion this summer, including putting up resistance to a proposed rules change that would decrease the odds that the very worst teams land the No. 1 draft pick. Philadelphia is still below the salary floor for 2014/15, and has yet to sign a free agent despite having a roster that many view as heavy on D-League talent and light on true NBA-caliber players. A year after acquiring Nerlens Noel in a draft-night trade, GM Sam Hinkie drafted two players that the team doesn’t count on seeing on the court this season in Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. The team made a shrewd deal in acquiring Saric, regaining control of its first-round pick in the 2017 draft from the Magic, who received Payton, the Sixers original No. 10 pick. Michael Carter-Williams just won rookie of the year, but Thaddeus Young could still be moved to facilitate a Kevin Love trade and gain Philadelphia even more assets. Brett Brown had little to smile about in his first year as a head coach outside of the team’s surprise 3-0 start, but is a believer in the team’s intentional process. The Sixers will owe their 2015 first-round pick to the Celtics if it falls outside the top 14–a seeming impossibility–but otherwise will convey two second-round picks to Boston, of which they have an abundance.
  4. Boston: Celtics GM Danny Ainge has preached patience, but there have been plenty of rumblings about his eagerness to jumpstart Boston’s rebuilding efforts with a blockbuster deal, the loudest of which surround Kevin Love. So far, Ainge has been forced to stay the course, with a modest free agency period (Bayless and Kris Humpries leaving, Evan Turner arriving, Avery Bradley remaining) bolstered by the additions of No. 6 pick Marcus Smart and No. 17 selection James Young. The team also took on more salary burdens in deals for Marcus Thornton and Tyler Zeller that netted them more future assets. The team is on track to free up cap room in 2015 and 2016, and Rajon Rondo‘s free agency next summer will play a crucial part in where the team is headed, and how fast. Brad Stevens is another sophomore coach that signed up expecting a long-term process requiring patience. The Celtics own all of their first-round picks, and will receive up to six extra first rounders from other teams through 2018.
  5. Utah: The Jazz retained Gordon Hayward this summer, and the 24-year-old projects to be the team’s oldest starter. Utah drafted point guard Dante Exum to play alongside Trey Burke and Alec Burks in a young, developing backcourt. The team let Marvin Williams leave as a free agent, and brought in veteran forwards in Steve Novak and Trevor Booker via the trade and free agent market, respectively. The Jazz let former twin towers Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson walk as free agents prior to the 2013/14 season to make way for their young frontcourt pieces in Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, who have showed promise but have yet to excel as a post tandem. The team hired new coach Quin Snyder from the Spurs coaching tree, and will hope the rookie coach can bring some of the San Antonio magic to Salt Lake City. The Jazz own all of their picks moving forward, and are owed one first rounder and seven second rounders through 2018.

Which team do you think is closest to seeing the fruits of their rebuild? A team like the Magic would appear to be moving forward more aggressively than the ultra-methodical Sixers, but an impatient shortcut to team improvement could end up stalling a team’s ultimate resurgence. Meanwhile, a team like Boston appears more likely to turn their assets into star players, but until they do, there is less to be excited about from their developing roster than some of the other clubs.

Weigh in with your vote, and state your case in the comments.

Magic To Sign Peyton Siva

July 29 at 5:23pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

Free agent point guard Peyton Siva has agreed to a deal with the Magic, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The 23-year-old guard recently participated in NBA summer league competition for the Pistons before being waived two weeks ago. According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, it appears that Siva will be brought to training camp on a partially-guaranteed contract before eventually being waived and sent to Orlando’s D-League affiliate in Erie. The money from the partial guarantee will be used to supplement his D-League salary  (Twitter links).

With the ability of Victor Oladipo to play point guard and the addition of playmaker Elfrid Payton via the draft, there doesn’t appear to be much room left for another young point guard on Orlando’s roster. The team also added veterans Luke Ridnour and Ben Gordon via free agency and traded for shooting guard Evan Fournier, which more or less has the team set in their backcourt rotation. It seems likely that the Magic would look to keep Siva’s rights in the D-League, which would keep him away from the D-League draft if the former Louisville star indeed decided to sign an NBDL contract. The partial guarantee could be an incentive to entice Siva to play for the Bayhawks rather than head to Europe for a more lucrative salary.

After being drafted 56th overall in 2013, the Andy Miller client played out the 2013/14 season for Detroit on a partially guaranteed deal, appearing in a total of 24 games. Siva averaged 2.3 PPG and 1.4 APG in 9.3 MPG, shooting just 31.6% from the field and 28.0% from long range.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post. 

Magic Sign Luke Ridnour

July 25 at 3:44pm CDT By Chuck Myron

JULY 25TH: The deal is official, the team announced.

JULY 16TH: 7:16pm: Ridnour’s deal will amount to $5.5MM over the two years, tweets David Aldridge of NBA.com.

6:28pm: The agreement is for a two-year contract, with the second year being non-guaranteed, tweets Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. Haynes adds that minor details are still being worked out, and it is still unknown what Ridnour’s annual salary will be.

1:13pm: The Magic will sign guard Luke Ridnour, reports Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops (on Twitter). It’ll be the latest deal with a veteran for Orlando, which already has agreements with Channing Frye and Ben Gordon so far this month. The terms are unclear, but given the team’s willingness to overpay for Frye and Gordon, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s an above-market arrangement for the 33-year-old Jim Tanner client.

Ridnour split last season between the Bucks and Bobcats, averaging a career-low 5.0 points per game. The Wizards and Kings were among the teams that reportedly called the Bucks in the lead-up to the trade deadline, but Charlotte wound up nabbing him instead. He played 15.1 minutes per game down the stretch for the then-Bobcats, a rate that dropped to 9.0 in the team’s four-game loss to the Heat in the first round of the playoffs. Charlotte renounced his Bird rights to clear cap space last week.

Orlando largely emphasized young players during the first two seasons of its post-Dwight Howard rebuilding project, but this summer appears to be a departure from that. The team still has ample cap space, so it appears that Ridnour will be receiving a chunk of that.

And-Ones: Love, Harris, Marble, Monroe

July 24 at 10:35pm CDT By Charlie Adams

The market for Kevin Love is likely less active than reports have been indicating, observes Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, who suggests that Flip Saunders probably isn’t deciding between a multitude of remarkable offers, but is instead patiently waiting, hoping for an exciting proposal to come in soon. Here’s tonight’s look around the NBA..

  • One league source told Amico that the flux of rumors based around a potential Love/Wiggins swap is “textbook Flip,” implying that Saunders is leaking information that he thinks could benefit the Wolves’ return on a Love deal. Amico wouldn’t confirm or deny the source’s speculation, however.
  • Joe Harris‘ deal with the Cavs and Devyn Marble‘s with the Magic are structured almost exactly the same way, reveals Mark Deeks of ShamSports (on Twitter). Each rookie will make $884,879 in the first season, $845,059 in the following campaign, and $980,431 during the third and final year of the deal. However, unlike Harris’ agreement, Marble’s contract becomes non-guaranteed past the first season, according to Deeks.
  • Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders looks at the options on the table for restricted free agent Greg Monroe. Greene thinks that like all of the game’s best big men, Monroe will get a hefty pay day eventually; it’s just a question of when it’ll be. Should Monroe decide to sign his qualifying offer this summer, he’ll be forfeiting potential earnings for the upcoming season but opening up the door to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

Magic Sign Devyn Marble

July 24 at 11:12am CDT By Chuck Myron

11:12am: The deal is official, the Magic announced via press release.

10:59pm: The sides have an agreement in principle on a three-year deal that’s fully guaranteed for the first season, Robbins writes in his full story. Since it’s for three years, that means the Magic are indeed using cap space.

10:52am: The Magic are on track to sign No. 56 overall pick Devyn Marble as soon as later today, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link). The rights to the former Iowa shooting guard went from Denver to Orlando as part of last month’s Arron Afflalo trade.

Marble, the son of former NBA player Roy Marble, showed steady improvement over his final three seasons with the Hawkeyes, averaging 17.0 points in 30.2 minutes per game with 34.9% three-point shooting as a senior. He aligned himself with another former NBA player when he chose B.J. Armstrong as his agent.

Orlando will likely use some of its ample cap space on what’s probably a deal for the minimum salary. It would be somewhat surprising if it were fully guaranteed, as such deals aren’t too common for late second-round picks. The Magic appear to be coming to a much quicker resolution with their second-rounder this year than they did last summer, when they didn’t officially have a contract with No. 51 overall pick Romero Osby until September 27th.

Arnovitz On Lockout, Rockets, Suns, LeBron

July 17 at 10:34pm CDT By Alex Lee

While members of June’s coveted draft class have yet to wow executives in the NBA summer leagues, it hasn’t curbed the chatter among the league’s decision-makers in Las Vegas, writes ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz. Arnovitz provides a plethora of big-picture issues being regularly discussed in the desert. Let’s round them up here:

  • Between the hefty prices that NBA franchises have fetched this offseason and a new television deal for the league on the horizon, insiders have been “downright giddy” in Vegas this week. Soaring revenues have resulted in teams investing in technology and analytics, though there is a growing fear that the NBA could be headed for another lockout in 2017.
  • Speaking of lockouts, the CBA negotiated during the last one has successfully limited the lengths of contracts in the NBA while simultaneously making it more difficult to plan for the long term, according to some executives. By limiting risk, shorter contracts have flooded the marketplace with bidders, in turn driving up the prices on free agents.
  • The reactions to the Rockets‘ offseason have been mixed, according to Arnovitz. On one hand, GM Daryl Morey has essentially traded Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin and first and second round draft picks for Trevor Ariza, a first round pick and a trade exception. On the other hand, Morey has landed two max players in two years while maintaining the cap space to add another. However, there is sentiment that Morey’s analytics-based approach might eventually discourage future targets from coming to Houston.
  • The Spurs are still undoubtedly the model franchise of the NBA, though there is a buzz about what the Suns are building in Phoenix. Citing several insiders, Arnovitz writes that the Suns are adding assets while simultaneously producing an exciting product for their fans.
  • LeBron James‘ return to Cleveland hasn’t evoked nearly as much gossip among league insiders as his departure did, but one general manager expressed appreciation for the Cavaliers‘ star “carrying” the NBA right now from a business standpoint.
  • The analytics movement continues to devalue the mid-range game, resulting in widespread approval of Channing Frye‘s four-year, $32MM deal with the Magic and even some support for the three-year, $19.5MM deal that Jodie Meeks signed with the Pistons.

Eastern Notes: Stephenson, Miller, Knicks

July 16 at 10:15am CDT By Chuck Myron

Some Pacers players attempted to persuade the team to sweeten its offers to Lance Stephenson, but the front office resisted, according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News. Stephenson agreed early this morning to bolt for the Hornets, and as his new three-year, $27.5MM deal quickly came together, the Pacers never received the opportunity to match Charlotte’s offer, as Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star writes. There’s more on his deal amid the latest from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Mavs made a three-year $20MM offer to Stephenson, reports Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link). The new Hornets two-guard would have joined the Mavs instead if the Rockets hadn’t passed on matching the Mavs’ offer sheet to Chandler Parsons, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com.
  • The Pacers made two different five-year offers to Stephenson, but he rejected them both, favoring a shorter arrangement, agent Alberto Ebanks tells Buckner (Twitter link). Indiana wasn’t willing to go shorter than five years, Broussard writes in his piece.
  • The Nuggets had a three-year, $12MM offer on the table for Mike Miller, but he passed it up for two years and $5.5MM with the Cavs thanks to persistent entreaties from LeBron James, as Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com details.
  • Knicks president Phil Jackson thinks the team has too many guards, and he may end up waiving Wayne Ellington, whom New York acquired in the Tyson Chandler trade, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post.
  • The Jazz almost doubled the average annual value of the deal that the Wizards were willing to give Trevor Booker, according to J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.
  • The Hawks held on to Pero Antic through Tuesday, meaning his non-guaranteed salary for 2014/15 has become fully guaranteed for $1.25MM. The same is true for Kyle O’Quinn, whose minimum salary with the Magic went from non-guaranteed to fully guaranteed when Orlando kept him Tuesday.

Bulls Trade Anthony Randolph To Magic

July 14 at 5:30pm CDT By Chuck Myron

5:30pm: The deal is now official, the Magic has announced. The Magic receive second rounders in 2015 and 2016, cash considerations, and Randolph, while the Bulls receive the draft rights to Rakovic.

4:29pm: The Magic would send the draft rights to Milovan Rakovic to Chicago and Orlando would also receive cash as part of the deal, reports Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter links).

3:38pm: The Bulls will trade Anthony Randolph and a pair of second-round picks to the Magic, who are expected to waive Randolph once they receive him, reports Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link). Chicago has been shopping Randolph, whom the team acquired in a draft-night trade from the Nuggets, in an effort to clear cap room. His salary, worth more than $1.825MM for the upcoming season, is fully guaranteed, so it appears it will remain on the books for the Magic, who’ll use their cap space to absorb Randolph, with the second-rounders as enticement for them to do so. It’s not immediately clear what Orlando will give up, but it’s unlikely to involve any guaranteed salary.

Chicago has to open up cap space one way or another to accommodate its agreements with Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic, as I explained this morning. Sending out Randolph will move the Bulls only incrementally toward that goal, one that’s unlikely to be reached unless Carlos Boozer leaves either by amnesty or salary-clearing trade. Still, it’s a maneuver that could allow the Bulls to use their Early Bird rights to re-sign Kirk Hinrich and preserve their room exception. Chicago also has an agreement in place to send Greg Smith and his guaranteed salary to the Mavs.

In 43 games with the Nuggets last season, Randolph averaged 4.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 0.7 APG while playing 12.3 minutes per contest. His career averages are 7.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 0.7 APG in six seasons.

Magic To Sign Channing Frye

July 14 at 3:33pm CDT By Zach Links

JULY 14TH: The deal is official, the team announced via press release

“Channing’s character, competiveness, veteran experience, and leadership ability are valuable additions to our developing team,” Magic GM Rob Hennigan said in the team’s statement. “His ability to stretch the floor and play sound team defense are also ways in which we envision Channing helping our team moving forward.”

JULY 9TH, 9:35pm Frye’s deal will be front-loaded and team-friendly in its latter years, a source with knowledge of the agreement tells Joshua Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. The deal will see decreases of 4.5% each season–the most allowable under the CBA–which projects to salaries of $8,560,707, $8,175,476, $7,807,579, and $7,456,238 for each year.

JULY 7TH, 5:04pm: The Magic have reached agreement on a deal with Channing Frye, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).  The deal will be for four years and $32MM (link).

While Frye has been garnering interest from around the league, the Magic weren’t seen as a likely destination and weren’t really mentioned as a possibility.  The incumbent Suns wanted to re-sign him, the Warriors and Cavs were ready and waiting when Frye opted out of his deal with Phoenix, and there was mutual interest between the big man and the Blazers.

The 31-year-old missed all of 2012/13 with an enlarged heart but wound up playing and starting in all 82 of the Suns’ regular season games last season. Frye averaged 11.1 PPG with 5.1 RPG and 0.8 BPG in 28.2 minutes per contest. He’s had slightly better marks in those categories and in PER, but he was nonetheless a bright spot for the Suns last season.

In a league that is falling more and more in love with the idea of a stretch four every day, Frye is a hot commodity.  The 6-foot-11 can consistently connect from the outside and owns a career 38.5% mark on three-pointers.

Orlando has upgraded their power forward situation in a big way this offseason.  Frye will presumably be the starter with No. 4 overall pick Aaron Gordon in reserve.

Magic Sign Ben Gordon

July 11 at 9:54am CDT By Chuck Myron

JULY 11TH: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

“Ben brings valuable experience to our team,” GM Rob Hennigan said in the team’s statement. “His competitiveness and ability to score and stretch the floor adds versatility to our backcourt and overall roster. We are excited to welcome Ben to the Orlando Magic family.”

NBA: Preseason-Philadelphia 76ers at Charlotte BobcatsJULY 2ND: The Magic and Ben Gordon have struck a deal on a two-year, $9MM arrangement, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The second year is a team option, according to TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter link). That’s a shocking amount for the shooting guard who ended last season out of the league after Charlotte waived him in March.

Orlando has made several cap clearing moves in recent days, but it’s nonetheless odd to see the team lob such a high-dollar offer Gordon’s way. There are no real teeth to the NBA’s minimum team salary rules, since the penalty for not reaching that amount holds that a team simply must distribute the difference between its team salary and the salary floor among its players.

The deal is a coup for agent Raymond Brothers. The Bulls, Clippers, Rockets and Thunder reportedly had interest in Gordon when he and the Bobcats were working on their buyout, but Charlotte wound up waiving him one day too late for him to participate in the playoffs with another team, an oddly timed move. Gordon was apparently reluctant to sign with some of those interested teams anyway, since they were dangling two-year deals that would have prevented him from hitting free agency this summer. As it turns out, that reluctance was wise.

Gordon, 31, played in just 19 games this past season, averaging career lows in points per game (5.2), minutes per game (14.7), and three-point shooting (27.6%), among a host of other categories. Once a feared sixth man, the Pistons dealt him to Charlotte in a 2012 deal that ultimately cost them the No. 9 overall pick this year to rid themselves of the last two years of his five-year, $58MM contract.