The Magic have scrapped any notion of rebuilding and are building off of last season’s playoff appearance, Josh Robbins of The Athletic contends. Orlando made $179MM in contractual commitments to re-sign Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross and add forward Al-Farouq Aminu. That approach could backfire because the franchise will have minimal salary-cap flexibility in upcoming summers and little chance to chase top-notch free agents, Robbins continues. It was also a vote of confidence that the young players on the roster will show significant growth, Robbins adds.
We have more from the Southeast Division:
- Chandler Parsons recently underwent a procedure in Germany to relieve his knee pain, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. Parsons had another Regenokine treatment in which a person’s own tissue is collected, processed and then placed back into the body. The Hawks officially acquired the veteran forward from the Grizzlies on Sunday for Solomon Hill and Miles Plumlee.
- The Hornets are willing to pay the luxury tax in future seasons if they become contenders, GM Mitch Kupchak told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Kupchak indicated he’s currently allowed by majority owner Michael Jordan to spend up to the luxury tax threshold. “If we ever get to the point that we feel we can advance in the playoffs, Michael has made it clear that we will go into the tax,” Kupchak said. However, that seems a long way off after losing franchise player Kemba Walker in free agency.
- Terry Rozier, Walker’s de facto replacement after the sign-and-trade with Boston was completed, was underrated coming into the NBA, Kupchak said. Rozier was the 16th pick of the 2015 draft but should have gone higher in light of his production with the Celtics, Kupchak said in a quote relayed by the team’s PR staff (Twitter link). “We feel like if he was in the draft this year, Terry Rozier would have been a lottery pick,” Kupchak said.
- Goran Dragic‘s $19.2MM expiring contract gives the Heat a valuable asset to dangle in a trade to continue their roster makeover, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes. They could use it this offseason to acquire another star player such as Russell Westbrook, whom the Heat are reportedly interested in, or at the February trading deadline.