The new four-year extension for center Wendell Carter Jr. is a good deal for both him and the Magic, writes Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Robbins sees the $50MM extension as a much safer investment than the five-year, $100MM contract the Cavaliers gave Jarrett Allen this summer. Carter, who was acquired from the Bulls in March, is a year younger than Allen and appears to have a long career ahead as a reliable big man who can rebound and switch on defense.
New head coach Jamahl Mosley has asked Carter to start taking more three-pointers and has used him at power forward during the preseason alongside Mo Bamba. With Jonathan Isaac and Chuma Okeke both sidelined by injuries, Carter and Bamba could be in the starting lineup for Wednesday’s season opener.
“The one thing that helps him is that he’s got great, active feet, and I think him understanding who’s a shooter, a non-shooter, those are going to be some scenarios that we’re going to have to continue to monitor,” Mosley said about Carter’s ability to defend outside the lane. “But I think he did a really good job of understanding how he could guard some of these fours in the league.”
There’s more from Orlando:
- The Magic have one more day to work out an extension with Bamba, but Robbins doesn’t expect it to happen. He notes that Bamba was slowed by an injury and then COVID-19 during his first two offseasons, and this summer was his first chance to really improve his conditioning. If Bamba turns in a strong season, he could be in demand as a restricted free agent in July.
- Cole Anthony was productive in the preseason after a disappointing performance during Summer League, Robbins notes in a separate story. Anthony may have been dealing with an injury in Las Vegas as he said, “It’s a world’s difference just how much better I feel right now.” He will likely start the season as the back-up point guard, although that could change when Markelle Fultz returns after offseason knee surgery.
- The Magic are in position to make a significant move before the trade deadline, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic. Orlando has a $17.1MM trade exception after sending Evan Fournier to the Celtics last season, along with $22.5MM in breathing room below the tax line.