SEPTEMBER 24TH, 4:17pm: The signing is official, the Magic announced in a press release.
JULY 20TH, 2:51pm: The Magic and Keith Appling have agreed to a partially guaranteed two-year deal, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). The point guard from Michigan State played summer league ball with the Magic earlier this month. Orlando has its $2.814MM room exception to spend, but it seems more likely that this will be a minimum-salary contract.
The Thunder reportedly met with him a couple of weeks ago. Appling was with the Lakers during the preseason last fall after having gone undrafted in 2014. He spent much of the season with the Lakers D-League affiliate before a trade sent him to the Magic’s D-League team. He averaged 10.5 points, 3.9 assists and 1.9 turnovers in 24.4 minutes per game across 38 total D-League appearances. The 23-year-old displayed more scoring prowess in summer league this year, posting 15.6 PPG in 26.3 MPG over five games.
The existence of a partial guarantee in his deal doesn’t necessarily mean he has a better shot to make the Magic’s opening night roster. Orlando reportedly gave Peyton Siva a partial guarantee in his deal last summer but viewed him as a D-League player. The Magic apparently used the partial guarantee as a way to gild his D-League salary and help keep him from signing overseas or ending up with another D-League team. NBA clubs can retain the D-League rights to as many as four of the players they waive at the end of training camp. Still, it appears he’ll have a chance to impress the Magic in NBA training camp and force his way onto the regular season roster.
What do you think Appling’s chances of making the opening night roster are? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.