- Tyler Harvey, a 2015 second-rounder whose NBA rights are held by the Magic, announced on Instagram that he has signed with Italian team Auxilium Pallacanestro Torino for the upcoming season. Harvey spent last season playing for the Erie BayHawks, Orlando’s D-League affiliate, but it seems the Magic won’t be able to keep as close an eye on the 23-year-old guard in 2016/17.
- Newly acquired Magic shooting guard Jodie Meeks is out indefinitely after undergoing foot surgery Tuesday, writes Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Meeks needed the procedure to stabilize the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, which he fractured early last season. Doctors offered little clue as to when Meeks might be able to play again. Orlando acquired him in a June 29th trade, sending a second-round pick to the Pistons in return.
- Former Magic guard Devyn Marble is getting interest from teams in Europe and China, according to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. Marble, who spent two years in Orlando, was traded to the Clippers last week and subsequently waived in a cost-cutting move.
- Bismack Biyombo‘s four-year, $72MM contract with the Magic actually has annual $17MM cap hits, rather than $18MM. Biyombo’s pact features $1MM in annual unlikely incentives.
- The Magic signed second-round pick Stephen Zimmerman using cap room, which means the team was able to lock him up to a three-year deal. The first year is guaranteed for $950K, while the next two years are currently non-guaranteed.
Life in the NBA hasn’t been what Jahlil Okafor expected, but he tells Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Inquirer that he wants to change that, and he hopes to do it with the Sixers. Okafor’s rookie season was plagued by off-court incidents and injuries that limited him to 53 games. He has spent the offseason listening to trade rumors, along with talk that his style of play doesn’t fit the modern NBA game. “[The trade talk] is definitely all stupid with a lot of speculation,” Okafor said. “I see where people will write what I’m feeling and I haven’t even spoken to them. A lot of stuff is made up and it’s annoying. But for the most part, it’s fine. For me, at a certain point, I got upset when another story came out that said we were upset with the team and that just wasn’t the case. But I’m just looking forward to the season now.” Okafor is still rehabbing from surgery in February to repair a torn meniscus, but he hopes to be cleared for five-on-five play soon.
- After getting his first taste of the NBA during summer league, Ben Simmons plans to work on “everything” before training camp, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The No. 1 pick played six summer league games, averaging 10.8 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists. But there were concerns about his turnover rate — 3.8 per game — and a habit of standing around when he didn’t have the ball. “It’s just everyday education,” said Sixers summer league coach Lloyd Pierce. “It’s just learning the NBA, basic timing, position, execution. I can throw out every basketball term in the book. He’s just got to learn the game.”
- The Magic should take another shot at Hawks power forward Paul Millsap next summer, writes Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando talked to Millsap in 2015 before he decided to re-sign with Atlanta, and with a player option for 2017/18, he might be a free agent again in 12 months. Millsap tops a list of potential 2017 free agent targets Schmitz listed for the Magic. Others mentioned are Gordon Hayward, J.J. Redick, Jeff Teague and Kyle Lowry.
- Whispers about James Young‘s commitment to the game continue to haunt him as he battles for a roster spot with the Celtics, according to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Young came into the league with people doubting his work ethic, and now there are concerns that he hasn’t developed as much as he should. “I’ve seen that for 35 years in the NBA,” said president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who wasn’t specifically talking about Young. “They don’t understand the urgency. They feel like they’ve made it, and they don’t understand that staying in the NBA should be their objective and not just making it here.”
3:42pm: The Clippers have officially waived Marble, the team confirmed this afternoon in a press release.
12:53pm: The Clippers will waive shooting guard Devyn Marble, whom they acquired in a trade with the Magic, tweets Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times. The deal, which was completed earlier today, was viewed as a way for L.A. to reduce salary before signing free agent point guard Raymond Felton.
Marble’s contract was non-guaranteed unless he was on a roster past 5 pm Eastern time today, and the Magic were planning to waive him before they found a trading partner in the Clippers. L.A. gave up C.J. Wilcox in the deal and received a 2020 second-round draft pick in return, along with Marble.
A second-round choice in 2014, Marble was traded from the Nuggets to Orlando shortly after the draft. He spent two years with the Magic, but appeared in just 44 games, including 28 this season. He would have made $980,431 next season if he had been retained.
JULY 15th, 11:14pm: The trade is official, the Magic announced.
JULY 14th, 7:44pm: The Magic and the Clippers are finalizing a trade that would send Devyn Marble and a 2020 second round pick to the Clippers for C.J. Wilcox and cash considerations, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel reports (via Twitter). It’s unclear if any protections will be attached to the second-rounder.
Orlando was reportedly set to waive Marble today, but the opportunity to work out a swap with Los Angeles popped up, and the Magic will be able to extract some value for the player. Marble appeared in 28 games for the Magic this past season and averaged 2.1 points, 1.4 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 8.9 minutes per outing. His shooting line was .296/.250/.417. He will earn $980,431 if he remains on the Clippers roster past Friday.
Wilcox, 25, recently underwent surgery to repair a broken right hand and he is expected to be out of action for four-to-six weeks. He is set to earn $1,209,600 next season and has a team option worth $2,183,328 for 2017/18. The guard appeared in 23 games for the Clippers this past season, averaging 3.0 points in 7.3 minutes of action per outing, while shooting .394/.391/.750 from the field.
The Magic plan to waive Devyn Marble prior to his 2016/17 salary becoming fully guaranteed, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel reports. Orlando has until Friday to part ways with the swingman, or else the team will be on the hook for the $980,431 he is due for next season.
Orlando currently has 13 players under contract, including Marble, two under the regular season maximum and seven beneath the preseason limit. The team could still re-sign Marble at a later date, if it desired, provided he clears waivers.
Marble appeared in 28 games for the Magic this past season and averaged 2.1 points, 1.4 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 8.9 minutes per outing. His shooting line was .296/.250/.417.
This past spring, the Bulls, Wizards, Magic, Bucks, Knicks, Nets, and 76ers all failed to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, finishing in the lottery. All seven of those teams have been very active so far this offseason, signing free agents and adding players to their roster via trades and/or the draft.
The Bulls and Knicks have perhaps been the most visible of the Eastern lottery teams in recent weeks, beginning with the five-player trade they completed that sent Derrick Rose to New York and Robin Lopez to Chicago. Since then, the Bulls have added Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo in free agency, while the Knicks have signed Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and Brandon Jennings, among others.
The two lottery teams from the Southeast – the Wizards and Magic – have also undergone some roster upheaval this summer. Washington re-upped restricted free agent Bradley Beal and made changes elsewhere, bringing in Ian Mahinmi, Andrew Nicholson, and Jason Smith, while letting go of Nene, Jared Dudley, and Ramon Sessions. Orlando was even more active, re-signing Evan Fournier, trading for Serge Ibaka, and adding D.J. Augustin, Jeff Green, and Bismack Biyombo.
The Bucks have been a little quieter, but they secured a pair of solid role players in free agency, signing Matthew Dellavedova and Mirza Teletovic. They also drafted Thon Maker, adding another athletic prospect with upside to a promising young core.
Like Milwaukee, the Sixers didn’t make a huge splash, but with Gerald Henderson, Jerryd Bayless, and Sergio Rodriguez entering the mix, the rebuilding franchise has more of a veteran presence. And if Dario Saric finalizes a deal with Philadelphia, the club feels it has three players – Saric, Joel Embiid, and No. 1 pick Ben Simmons – capable of competing for the Rookie of the Year award.
Finally, the Nets missed out on two RFA targets, when their offer sheets for Tyler Johnson and Allen Crabbe were matched. Their other free agent signings, including Jeremy Lin, Greivis Vasquez, Trevor Booker, Luis Scola, and Justin Hamilton – have been modest.
Today’s discussion question focuses on these seven teams, and their offseason transactions. Which team do you think improved the most? Which series of moves do you like best? Which of these non-playoff teams do you think is most likely to end up qualifying for the postseason next spring?
Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the Bulls, Wizards, Magic, Bucks, Knicks, Nets, and Sixers. We look forward to hearing what you have to say.
- The Magic did the right thing by bringing in defensive-minded big men rather than standing pat this offseason, Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel argues. While Orlando has been criticized in some circles for its offseason moves, the additions of Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo and Jeff Green gives new coach Frank Vogel an opportunity to play a more physical style, Bianchi notes. The Magic have floundered for four years with their young core and couldn’t wait any longer for it to blossom on its own, Bianchi adds, pointing out that coach Scott Skiles quit after one season because he didn’t like the roster.
The Magic formally announced four free agent signings today, and didn’t stop there, moving on to locking up their lone draft pick. The team announced this afternoon in a press release that second-rounder Stephen Zimmerman has officially signed his first NBA contract. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Zimmerman, a center out of UNLV, was the 41st overall pick in last month’s draft. Because the Magic sent their first-round pick to Oklahoma City in the trade that landed Serge Ibaka, Zimmerman was Orlando’s only draftee of 2016.
In his lone season at UNLV, Zimmerman averaged 10.5 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 2.0 BPG in 26 contests (26.2 MPG). The seven-footer was ranked 40th overall by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com, which was nearly right in line with his draft slot. On the night of the draft, Givony noted (via Twitter) that Zimmerman, who turns 20 in September, may have been selected higher if not for medical concerns about his right elbow.
With deals for Bismack Biyombo, Evan Fournier, Jeff Green, and D.J. Augustin now finalized, the Magic don’t appear to have any cap room left. It’s possible the team uses some of its room exception to sign Zimmerman, but his deal is more likely to be a two-year, minimum-salary pact.