The Magic have decided to retain point guard Markelle Fultz and veteran wing Gary Harris through their respective salary guarantee dates, reports Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel (subscription required).
Fultz’s $17MM salary for 2023/24 had only been partially guaranteed for $2MM, while Harris’ $13MM cap hit was non-guaranteed. The Magic had to waive the two players today to avoid fully guaranteeing their ’23/24 salaries, but have apparently opted not to do so.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, Fultz started all 60 games he played for the Magic in 2022/23 after being limited to just 26 total appearances across the two prior seasons due to an ACL tear. Fultz enjoyed his best NBA season this past year, establishing new career highs in points (14.0), assists (5.7), and rebounds (3.9) per game while also shooting a career-best 51.4% from the field, including 31.0% on threes.
Harris, meanwhile, appeared in 48 games for Orlando last season, starting 42 of them and averaging 24.7 minutes per night. The 28-year-old made a career-high 43.1% of his three-point attempts, providing some much-needed floor spacing for a Magic team that ranked 25th in the NBA in three-pointers.
With Fultz and Harris on the books for next season, Orlando’s cap flexibility will be reduced. However, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Magic isn’t planning to be a major player on the free agent market anyway.
It sounds like the team will focus on lower-cost free agents rather than trying to make a significant splash. Fischer hears from sources that veteran forward Joe Ingles is one candidate to sign with the Magic on a contract worth more than the minimum.