2020/21 Salary Cap Preview: Orlando Magic

Hoops Rumors is looking ahead at the 2020/21 salary cap situations for all 30 NBA teams. Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the NBA, it’s impossible to know yet where the cap for 2020/21 will land. Given the league’s lost revenue, we’re assuming for now that it will stay the same as the ’19/20 cap, but it’s entirely possible it will end up higher or lower than that.

The Magic entered the 2019/20 season looking to build on its strong finish the previous year, but have ended up taking a slight step back instead, entering the hiatus with a 30-35 record after winning 42 games in 2018/19.

With Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Terrence Ross still earning eight-figure salaries for multiple years beyond this season, and Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz expected to eventually be locked up too, the Magic may not be in position to make major changes to their roster within the next year or two unless they do so on the trade market.

Here’s where things stand for the Magic financially in 2020/21, as we continue our Salary Cap Preview series:

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

Team Options

Non-Guaranteed Salary

  • None

Restricted Free Agents

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Offseason Cap Outlook

Assuming they plan to keep their first-round pick and sign Okeke in 2020, the Magic will have more than $102MM in guaranteed money committed to 10 players. That should put the club in position to either re-sign Fournier or accommodate his $17MM player option without approaching tax territory.

Letting Fournier walk would theoretically give the Magic even more flexibility, but probably wouldn’t result in any cap room. It would make more sense for Orlando to operate as an over-the-cap team in that scenario in order to retain its full mid-level and bi-annual exceptions.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Mid-level exception: $9,258,000 3
  • Bi-annual exception: $3,623,000 3

Footnotes

  1. The cap holds for Grant, Afflalo, and Speights remain on the Magic’s books because they haven’t been renounced after going unsigned in 2019/20. They can’t be used in a sign-and-trade deal.
  2. The 16th overall pick in 2019, Okeke has yet to sign his rookie scale contract. He’ll be eligible to sign in 2020/21 for the same amount as the No. 16 pick in the 2020 draft.
  3. These are projected values. If the Magic’s team salary continues to increase, it’s possible they’d be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception ($5,718,000).

Note: Minimum-salary and rookie-scale cap holds are based on the salary cap and could increase or decrease depending on where the cap lands.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders and Early Bird Rights was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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15 thoughts on “2020/21 Salary Cap Preview: Orlando Magic

  1. jacobjackson

    Fournier is the best target for the Warriors’ Iguodala TPE.

    If the cap shrinks, it increases the likelihood that Fournier opts in. It also increases the likelihood that the budget-conscious Magic might be willing to cut payroll and trade him.

    Fournier as the Warriors’ sixth man, and potentially in their small ball closing 5 on some nights, makes sense for them in what should be an ‘all-in’ year financially at the tail end of Curry’s prime.

    I think in a down economy the Warriors should be able to get one year of Fournier at $17.1M for 3 Warriors second rounders.

    • x_burner_X

      Whats the use of those seconds for Magic? They wont have any cap space, cant sign anyone better then Fournier for the MLE.
      Trade makes no sense, since Magic dont even need to shed salary since they’re not in the tax

    • Magic 24/7

      The Magic aren’t a “budget conscious” franchise.

      + they would never salary dump (for 2nd rounders) their best shooter & most effective driver/PnR ball handler.

      He’s a 27 year old 6’7 SG who put up 18.8 PPG on .599 TS% including .406 3P%, while also carrying a 16.5 AST% creator load. Fournier isn’t a lockdown defender, but he’s a willing high bbIQ team defender w/length.

      The Magic have no means of replacing that role and production. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they extended him this summer.

      • jacobjackson

        They made a pre-draft agreement with an injured late-first round talent to not sign for 19-20 so that they wouldn’t have to pay him until 20-21. By NBA standards, that’s cheap. OKC did something similar in drafting Huestis.

        With the economy the way it is now, I expect to see far less teams operating over the cap and near the lux tax. We may even have some teams operate near the 90% salary floor.

        Don’t be shocked to see Fournier traded to the highest bidder, and if they stay over the cap they use MLE money on a backup PG. Fournier for a late first or 3 seconds.

        • Magic 24/7

          That was because the Magic were right up against the luxury tax. In other words, the owner allowed his GM to push a fringe playoff roster’s payroll to its limit. That’s literally the opposite of “budget conscious.” Okeke had suffered an injury that would keep him rehabbing for entire season. That allowed Okeke would be able to sign at higher rookie scale + get G-League $ while rehabbing under Magic supervision.

          The cap will contract for every team – current estimates speculate around $97m. That means vast majority of NBA will be in or against the luxury tax. The NBA/NBPA will not allow that as it would create a litany of short and long term problems. There will be some kind of smoothing / amnesty implemented.

          If Fournier opts in, he definitely won’t be traded as a salary dump or draft picks. The Magic are not looking for that. If it happens the most likely scenario would be a package deal, likely involving Aaron Gordon and/or 2020 1st (#15).

  2. x%sure

    Orlando looks jammed up to me. With Fournier and the first, BasRef puts them at $123.9mil, and they still need to sign a couple PGs besides Fultz, if not re-sign Augustin, MCW and/or Frazier.

    Also their lineup does not sync. The team was said to look smoother when SF Ennis played instead of Gordon along with Isaac, even though Ennis had crap stats.

    There’s a mix of players taking small steps forward and backward. I would bring back Augustin with his good on/off, and his slight tail-off should keep his price low, maybe 2/$7. But they need to make a major trade.

    • Magic 24/7

      The Magic aren’t really jammed up in the back court.

      PG: Fultz
      SG: Fournier / Ross
      + pretty likely resigning of MCW & DJ Augustin

      It’s in the front court that I’d look for trades.

      SF: Gordon / Ennis / Okeke
      PF: Isaac / Aminu
      C: Vucevic / Bamba / Birch

      Gordon’s fit with Isaac is very iffy + its doubtful he stays with Magic when his contract ends. He’s the most likely piece to be moved.

      Its probably too soon to move Vucevic, as Bamba is still not quite ready for big minutes, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Vucevic gets moved within next year…sooner if a short-term placeholder C is acquired in that (or simultaneous transaction).

      • x_burner_X

        Culver+Wolves 2020 1st+Okogie for Gordon, would you say yes? Maybe they throw in Rockets 1st they got for Covington.
        I’m really interested in what Gordon and KAT can be together

        • x%sure

          I like Gordon plus Towns too, but I doubt MIN wants to move Culver yet, and ORL would want more for Gordon since Culver had a rough season. ORL would get more action offensively, and better defense paired with Isaac, but not really better shooting.

          To make it work, I think James Johnson and a smaller contract from ORL, Ennis or Birch, would have to be included.

          Gordon has to go for something, but the key to making the playoffs is Isaac staying healthy.

          • x_burner_X

            How is wanting more for Gordon and taking Johnson’s contract instead makes the trade work for Orlando?)

            • x%sure

              Johnson in addition to Culver, Okogie and a first for Gordon and Ennis/Birch– to make the salaries match. Espn trade machine can’t be used because Johnson can’t be traded yet but that will pass after the year sometime.
              But, not sure that will be more convincing to Orlando– depends how they see the tattood-guy!– but they only need to replace depth, not a new starter. They do get one less year of salary to pay and perimeter options.

              • Magic 24/7

                Your trade probably doesn’t need to include Okogie.

                MIN OUT:
                • Brooklyn Nets 2020 1st (currently #16)
                • Jarret Culver
                • James Johnson

                ORL OUT:
                • Aaron Gordon
                • Khem Birch

                What would decide it is how the Magic FO felt about this draft & Culver.

                They would have to think they could package both their picks to move up, as adding that much more youth (with guaranteed salary) likely isn’t ideal to their already young roster.

                They’d probably have to think Culver could improve his shot & play a similar role to his 2nd year at Texas Tech. He was decent PnR guy at TT (top 63d %ile) and pretty solid in ISO’s (top 77th %ile).

                He would be buried in the rotation behind Fournier & Ross though. But might find minutes at SF & in the unlikely scenario that Fournier opts out.

                PG: Fultz
                SG: Fournier, Ross, Culver
                SF: Ennis, Okeke
                PF: Isaac, Aminu, Johnson
                C: Vucevic, Bamba

                • x%sure

                  I included Okogie because x burner x did. He would be needed to get ORL motivated…
                  The benefit from Culver and Johnson is to provide new kinds of jolts to a team that might be stale. They are more clever than fast though Culver is a rookie.
                  I would hesitate to rely on Fultz though I haven’t seen his new affect. And it will help that Gordon is gone hate to say.

                  I like Gordon with Dray at GSW or Towns at MIN. He would have a purpose to get to either way, and be a 4. Culver was supposed to be a leader but he was also supposed to make more than half his FTs… that is a sign he is not fitting. Okogie is like Barton or Harkless.

                  Gordon could return more of a proven star for ORL in trade but that can also be a salary expense trap. Young talent and a sooner-expiring is also a target.

                  • Magic 24/7

                    I like Okogie but he doesn’t really move the needle if the Magic FO aren’t sold on Culver…which I’m not convinced they would be. Shooting is a huge need for ORL and Culver’s indicators aren’t promising from that perspective.

                    Fultz is going to be very good. I think the Magic FO (and most Magic fans) are sold on him.

                    Most Orlando fans were skeptical he would be more than a bench guy. But he pretty quickly showed why he was a high lottery pick. Fultz has excellent handles and passing instincts, great size and first step + is able to operate in the teeth of defense w/ composure of vet PG. He’s great in transition and a really good finisher + is already solid from midrange. On the other end, he’s a very good defender, with quick hands and instincts + strong and long. The only thing he’s missing right now is efficiency behind the arc. That will dictate wether in a 1-2 years he’s an All-Star type guard, or just a solid starting level PG.

                    It seems inevitable that Gordon will be traded soon. The Magic have until the trade deadline next season before he turns into a rental type asset. I’m of the opinion he’ll get traded this offseason.

                    I don’t love this trade with MIN, but a couple of young players with some upside + draft asset isn’t a bad return…but I think there might be better offers whenever this offseason free agency occurs.

  3. Magic 24/7

    Doesn’t seem like that trade would work as far as salary matching Gordon’s $18m.

    A third team would probably have to be involved.

    The Magic’s biggest need is shooting and playmaking from the forward spots. Okogie or Culver don’t seem to fill that need, at least not yet.

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