After pushing back their target date a couple times, the Magic are moving forward with reopening their practice facility today, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. As we detailed on Wednesday, the team had been waiting on coronavirus test results for a number of asymptomatic players and staffers.
With the Magic set to allow their players to conduct voluntary individual workouts starting Thursday, they’ll become the 11th NBA team to do so, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Reynolds identifies Portland, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Denver, Atlanta, Indiana, Sacramento, Toronto, and Utah as the first 10 teams to reopen their facilities.
We’ve covered all those teams’ decisions in recent days except for the Bucks, who slipped through the cracks. They announced on Monday (via Twitter) that they’d be reopening their building on a limited basis.
The Magic were the first team to secure written authorization from a local health authority – along with approval from the NBA – to test asymptomatic players for COVID-19, which means they’re able to be more proactive than other teams in screening who’s entering their building. Most clubs, for now, are conducting basic health and temperature checks on those entering their facilities.
Here’s more on the Magic:
- After recently polling NBA scouts on Jonathan Isaac‘s outlook going forward, Josh Robbins of The Athletic has done the same for Markelle Fultz, one of Orlando’s other young building blocks. Unsurprisingly, Fultz’s shot-making ability is the primary concern among those evaluators. “Right now, I think he’s more of a backup, which is perfect for him,” one scout said. “The shooting, unless that gets a lot better, he’s a backup. He’s with a good coach who values what he does. He defends. He’s an athletic presence. He can get to the rim. But for him to be a starter and a guy you pay that kind of money to, you’ve got to make shots.”
- Given the Magic’s limited projected cap flexibility and the fact that they likely won’t have a lottery pick, Robbins says in a mailbag for The Athletic that he thinks the most realistic way for the team to make a splash in the 2020 offseason is to do so on the trade market.
- Within the same mailbag, Robbins also confirms that 2019 first-rounder Chuma Okeke won’t be joining the Magic if the season resumes, since he’ll have to wait until the 2020/21 league year begins to sign his rookie contract. Okeke, who was recovering from an ACL tear when he was drafted last June, essentially took a redshirt year in the G League.
- The Magic will be the next team up in our Salary Cap Preview series for ’20/21 — keep an eye out for that story to be published later today.