Orlando Magic

Latest On The Carmelo Anthony Trade

Carmelo Anthony recently added the Thunder to the list of teams he would waive his no-trade clause to join, but Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti and New York GM Scott Perry had been discussing a deal for weeks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Talks intensified over the last 24 hours before the agreement was reached earlier today. Anthony had reportedly insisted for most of the summer that he would only go to Houston, but he expanded that list this week to include the Thunder and Cavaliers.

The deal will be formally completed Monday, and Oklahoma City expects to have Anthony on hand when training camp begins Tuesday.

More has emerged since the trade was announced:

  • Sources tell ESPN’s Ian Begley that Anthony believed yesterday there was a good chance he was headed to Cleveland (Twitter link). Anthony has a tight relationship with LeBron James, and the Cavaliers could use another scorer while Isaiah Thomas is sidelined with a hip injury.
  • The addition of Anthony could put the Thunder in the running to sign Dwyane Wade once he reaches a buyout with the Bulls, tweets Chris Mannix of the Vertical. Wade probably wouldn’t start in Oklahoma City and the team can’t offer much money, but he may be willing to accept a sixth man role to take another shot at a ring beside Anthony, Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
  • Presti should be lauded for rebuilding the Thunder without surrendering a first-round pick, tweets Michael Lee of The Vertical. OKC send Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to Indiana in exchange for George, then shipped Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-rounder to the Knicks to get Anthony. The Thunder already owe their 2018 first-round pick to Minnesota (lottery protected) and another first-rounder to Orlando two years later.
  • Oklahoma City had a secret weapon, Lee adds, in vice president and assistant GM Troy Weaver, who helped recruit Anthony when he was an assistant coach at Syracuse (Twitter link).
  • The trade establishes the Thunder as the greatest threat to the Warriors’ dominance in the West, writes Dieter Kurtenbach of The San Jose Mercury News. He sees Anthony stepping into a much better role as a complementary stretch four in Oklahoma City, rather than a primary scorer in New York. OKC added free agent Patrick Patterson this summer and re-signed defensive ace Andre Roberson and may now have the pieces to challenge Golden State in a seven-game series.
  • ESPN’s Kevin Pelton graded the deal, giving the Thunder an A and the Knicks a D. Kanter and McDermott were both defensive liabilities, Pelton states, and the new alignment gives Oklahoma City a small-ball lineup that matches up much better with the Warriors. The Knicks didn’t take on any long-term contracts, but they also didn’t fill any pressing needs unless McDermott develops into a reliable wing scorer. Pelton expects New York to explore the trade market for Kanter before the February deadline.
  • Oklahoma City used two key pieces from the Bulls to pull off today’s deal, and Chicago doesn’t have much in return, writes Scott Krinch of CSNChicago. McDermott and the 2018 second-rounder that was shipped to the Knicks both came to OKC in a February trade that sent Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow to the Bulls. Lauvergne and Morrow left as free agents over the offseason, and Payne will miss three to four months after foot surgery.
  • Kanter posted a message on Twitter, thanking the fans and management in Oklahoma City and saying, “Please beat the Warriors for me.”

2017 Offseason In Review: Orlando Magic

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2017 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2017/18 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Orlando Magic.

Signings:JonathonSimmons vertical

Camp invitees:

Trades:

  • Acquired a 2020 first-round pick (Thunder; top-20 protected) and a 2020 second-round pick (less favorable of Knicks’ and Nets’ picks) from the Sixers in exchange for the draft rights to Anzejs Pasecniks (No. 25 pick).
  • Acquired a 2019 second-round pick (Nets) from the Grizzlies in exchange for the draft rights to Ivan Rabb (No. 35 pick).

Draft picks:

  • 1-6: Jonathan Isaac — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 2-33: Wesley Iwundu — Signed to three-year, $4.047MM contract. Third-year team option.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

  • Fired general manager Rob Hennigan.
  • Hired Jeff Weltman as president of basketball operations; sent 2018 second-round pick to Raptors as compensation.
  • Hired John Hammond as general manager.
  • Hired Randy Wittman as coaching consultant.
  • Will have new G League affiliate (Lakeland Magic).

Salary cap situation:

  • Essentially capped out (carrying approximately $98MM in guaranteed salary), but full room exception ($4.328MM) still available.

Check out the Orlando Magic’s full roster and depth chart at RosterResource.com.


Story of the summer:

No NBA teams replaced head coaches this offseason, but Orlando was one of several clubs to make changes to its basketball operations department. The Magic had been patient with general manager Rob Hennigan, watching as he made incremental improvements over the course of his first four years with the franchise, increasing the club’s win total from 20 to 23 to 25 to 35. After a series of major moves failed to pan out, however, the Magic slipped back to 29-53 in 2016/17.

With no playoff berths or star players to show for five years of work in Orlando – and an embarrassing dry-erase board incident fresh in everyone’s mind – Hennigan was a goner. To replace him, the Magic brought in Raptors executive Jeff Weltman to run the basketball operations department, and poached John Hammond from the Bucks to become their new GM.

In his fifth year, Hennigan clearly felt the pressure to make win-now moves, which resulted in overpays for players like Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo. The new management group won’t be under the same sort of pressure — this roster isn’t capable of legit contention in the short term, which means Weltman and Hammond can be patient and focus on longer-term moves.

Both of the Magic’s new executives showed a willingness in their old jobs to gamble on young, athletic prospects with high upside. So far in Orlando, they’ve exhibited that same tendency. Not all of those moves will pan out, but with the Magic still going through a rebuild, Weltman and Hammond will likely be happy to roll the dice on a few Bruno Caboclos if the process eventually leads them to a Giannis Antetokounmpo.

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Billy King Looks Back On Tenure With Nets

Former Nets GM Billy King, who is widely blamed for turning the organization into a perennial loser with no lottery picks, tells his side of the story in an interview with The Glue Guys, a Nets-themed podcast.

King touches on several controversial issues in the 45-minute session, including an effort to acquire Chris Paul, the failure to get Dwight Howard when he wanted to join the Nets and the ill-fated trade that sent three unprotected first-rounders to Boston for a package centered around veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

The highlights:

  • King tried to get Paul from New Orleans before dealing with Utah for Deron Williams. King believed he was making progress, but the deal went cold after Jeff Bowers was replaced as GM by Dell Demps. “At that time, I don’t think Dell wanted his first thing to be trading Chris Paul,” King said.
  • The Nets believed they were close to acquiring Howard from Orlando just before the 2012 trade deadline. “We went to bed as a staff — we left the office pretty late — we went to bed pretty much knowing that tomorrow we’re going to get Dwight,” King said. Magic GM Otis Smith had planned to finalize the deal the next morning, but King woke up to a text saying that Howard had elected to opt in for the following season. King reached out to Howard’s agent, who responded, “I don’t think he did,” and even Smith hadn’t heard the news when King called him. However, Smith returned the call an hour later and confirmed the news.
  • The Nets responded by trading their 2012 first-round pick to Portland in exchange for Gerald Wallace in an attempt to appease Williams and discourage him from opting out over the summer. The Blazers used that pick to draft Damian Lillard.
  • King reached out to the Celtics in 2013 because he thought he had a talented nucleus that needed veteran leadership and was interested in acquiring Pierce. Negotiations led to Garnett and Jason Terry being included and the package of picks going to Boston.
  • King made an offer to Pierce in the summer of 2014, but he got a better deal from Washington and the Nets decided not to match it. “Once that decision was made, I think it changed our thought process,” King said. “I think some of the players even thought, ‘What’s going on here? We were committed and now we’re not.” King added that he wouldn’t have made the deal with Boston if he knew he couldn’t keep Pierce longer than one season.

NBA’s Board Of Governors To Examine Revenue Sharing System

ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst have published an expansive and well-researched report on NBA teams’ finances, providing details on the league’s revenue sharing system, the impact from national and local television deals, and how a lack of net income for NBA franchises could push the league toward considering relocation or expansion.

The report is wide-ranging and detailed, so we’re going to tackle it by dividing it up into several sections, but it’s certainly worth reading in full to get a better picture of whether things stand in the NBA. Let’s dive in…

Which teams are losing money?

  • Nine teams reportedly lost money last season, even after revenue sharing. Those clubs were the Hawks, Nets, Pistons, Grizzlies, Magic, Wizards, Bucks, Cavaliers, and Spurs. The latter two teams – Cleveland and San Antonio – initially came out ahead, but paid into the league’s revenue sharing program, pushing them into the red.
  • Meanwhile, the Hornets, Kings, Pacers, Pelicans, Suns, Timberwolves, and Trail Blazers also would have lost money based on net income if not for revenue sharing, according to Lowe and Windhorst.
  • As a league, the NBA is still doing very well — the overall net income for the 30 teams combined was $530MM, per ESPN. That number also only takes into account basketball income, and doesn’t include income generated via non-basketball events for teams that own their arenas.
  • The players’ union and its economists have long been skeptical of NBA teams’ bookkeeping, alleging that clubs are using techniques to make themselves appear less profitable than they actually are, Windhorst and Lowe note. The union has the power to conduct its own audit of several teams per season, and it has begun to take advantage of that power — according to ESPN, the union audited five teams last season, and the new CBA will allow up to 10 teams to be audited going forward.

How does the gap between large and small market teams impact income?

  • Even after paying $49MM in revenue sharing, the Lakers finished the 2016/17 with a $115MM profit in terms of net income, per ESPN. That was the highest profit in the NBA, ahead of the second-place Warriors, and could be attributed in large part to the $149MM the Lakers received from their huge local media rights deals.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, the Grizzlies earned a league-low $9.4MM in local media rights, which significantly affected their bottom line — even after receiving $32MM in revenue sharing, Memphis lost money for the season. The Grizzlies will start a new TV deal this year that should help boost their revenue, but it still won’t come anywhere close to matching deals like the Lakers‘.
  • The biggest local TV deals help drive up the NBA’s salary cap, with teams like the Lakers and Knicks earning in excess of $100MM from their media agreements. According to the ESPN report, the Knicks made $10MM more on their TV deal than the six lowest-earning teams combined.
  • As one owner explained to ESPN, “National revenues drive up the cap, but local revenues are needed to keep up with player salaries. If a team can’t generate enough local revenues, they lose money.”
  • Playoff revenue from a big-market team like the Warriors also helps push up the salary cap. Sources tell Lowe and Windhorst that Golden State made about $44.3MM in net income from just nine home playoff games last season, more than doubling the playoff revenue of the next-best team (the Cavaliers at about $20MM).

How is revenue sharing affecting teams’ earnings?

  • Ten teams paid into the NBA’s revenue sharing system in 2016/17, with 15 teams receiving that money. The Sixers, Raptors, Nets, Heat, and Mavericks neither paid nor received any revenue sharing money. Four teams – the Warriors, Lakers, Bulls, and Knicks – accounted for $144MM of the total $201MM paid in revenue sharing.
  • While there’s general agreement throughout the NBA that revenue sharing is working as intended, some teams have “bristled about the current scale of monetary redistribution,” according to ESPN. “The need for revenue sharing was supposed to be for special circumstances, not permanent subsidies,” one large-market team owner said.
  • The Grizzlies, Hornets, Pacers, Bucks, and Jazz have each received at least $15MM apiece in each of the last four years via revenue sharing.
  • However, not all small-market teams receive revenue-sharing money — if a team outperforms its expectations based on market size, it forfeits its right to that money. For instance, the Thunder and Spurs have each paid into revenue sharing for the last six years.

Why might league-wide income issues lead to relocation or expansion?

  • At least one team owner has raised the idea of expansion, since an expansion fee for a new franchise could exceed $1 billion and it wouldn’t be subject to splitting 50/50 with players. A $1 billion expansion fee split 30 ways would work out to $33MM+ per team.
  • Meanwhile, larger-market teams who aren’t thrilled about their revenue-sharing fees have suggested that small-market clubs losing money every year should consider relocating to bigger markets, sources tell ESPN.
  • As Lowe and Windhorst observe, the Pistons – who lost more money than any other team last season – are undergoing a relocation of sorts, moving from the suburbs to downtown Detroit, in the hopes that the move will help boost revenue.

What are the next steps? Are changes coming?

  • The gap between the most and least profitable NBA teams is expected to be addressed at the NBA’s Board of Governors meeting next week, per Lowe and Windhorst. Team owners have scheduled a half-day review of the league’s revenue sharing system.
  • Obviously, large- and small-market teams view the issue differently. While some large-market teams have complained about the revenue sharing system, they’re outnumbered, with smaller-market teams pushing those more successful clubs to share more of their profits, according to ESPN.
  • Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen is one of the loudest voices pushing for more “robust” revenue sharing, sources tell ESPN. Some team owners have argued that the system should ensure all teams make a profit, while one even suggested every team should be guaranteed a $20MM profit. There will be “pushback” on those ideas, Lowe and Windhorst note. “This is a club where everyone knows the rules when they buy in,” one owner said.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, some teams have floated the idea of limiting the amount of revenue sharing money a team can receive if it has been taking payments for several consecutive years.
  • Any change to the revenue sharing system that is formally proposed at the NBA’s Board of Governors meeting would require a simple majority (16 votes to 14) to pass.

Magic Hire Randy Wittman As Coaching Consultant

SEPTEMBER 18: The Magic have confirmed the changes to their coaching staff noted below, announcing today in a press release that Wittman has joined the club as a coaching consultant, while Hernandez and Hill are now assistant coaches.

SEPTEMBER 3: Former Wizards head coach Randy Wittman is completing a deal to become a coaching consultant in Orlando, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com. He will report directly to head coach Frank Vogel in the new position.

The Magic have an opening on their staff with the departure of David Adelman to Denver. Wojnarowski adds that current Orlando assistants Jay Hernandez and Matt Hill will both be promoted (Twitter link).

Wittman compiled a 178-199 record in four and a half seasons as head coach in Washington. He led the team to two playoff appearances and two second-round exits before being fired in 2016. Wittman has also served as head coach of the Cavaliers and Timberwolves and spent a year as an assistant in Orlando in 2005/06.

15 Two-Way Contract Slots Remain Open

With NBA training camps just a couple weeks away, most teams are putting the finishing touches on their respective rosters. In addition to having secured at least a dozen players on guaranteed contracts and perhaps a handful of camp invitees, each NBA club has also signed at least one player to a two-way contract.

As we explain in depth in our FAQ, two-way contracts – a new concept under the league’s latest Collective Bargaining Agreement – allow NBA teams to carry two extra players in addition to the 15 on their regular season roster. These players spend most of their time with the club’s G League affiliate, but are eligible to join the NBA roster for up to 45 days per season, and remain under team control — they can’t be poached by rival franchises.

Teams have been signing players to two-way contracts since July, so we’re starting to get a better idea of what players on those deals will look like — some are late second-round draft picks; some are undrafted rookies; others are G League or international veterans, or former NBA players looking to work their way back into the league.

Every NBA club has signed at least one player to a two-way deal, but only half of those 30 clubs have filled both spots, meaning that there are still 15 two-way openings around the league. With the help of our two-way tracker, here’s a breakdown of the teams that still have an open two-way slot:

  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Houston Rockets
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Miami Heat
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • New York Knicks
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Orlando Magic
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Portland Trail Blazers

While the Suns and Jazz technically could be included on this list, they’ve reportedly reached agreements – with Alec Peters and Nate Wolters, respectively – to fill their second two-way slots, so unless those deals unexpectedly fall through, they won’t have any openings.

Although some of these two-way openings figure to be filled in advance of training camp, many of the clubs listed above have signed camp invitees to Exhibit 10 contracts, which can later be converted into two-way deals. So rather than signing someone new and waiving a camp invitee, a handful of teams may simply convert an Exhibit 10 contract to a two-way contract before the regular season begins.

Former Magic GM Rob Hennigan Rejoining Thunder

Three months after being dismissed by the Magic, veteran executive Rob Hennigan is returning to his old NBA home, according to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). League sources tell Scotto that the Thunder have re-hired the former Orlando general manager.

Hennigan, who spent five years as the Magic’s GM, was a member of the Oklahoma City front office before making the move to Orlando. During his final two seasons with the Thunder, Hennigan served as the club’s assistant general manager/player personnel. Before that, he spent two seasons as OKC’s director of college/international player personnel.

While Hennigan didn’t have much success in Orlando during his first stint as the head of a basketball operations department, reports in the wake of his firing suggested that he remained widely respected around the NBA, and would likely receive “attractive” offers from other teams.

It remains to be seen what Hennigan’s new title in Oklahoma City will be, but it’s worth noting that one of the Thunder’s assistant general managers, Michael Winger, left the franchise last month to become the Clippers’ new GM. It would make sense for Hennigan to help fill the hole created by Winger’s departure, rejoining old friends Sam Presti and Troy Weaver in OKC’s basketball operations department.

Magic Re-Sign Damjan Rudez

The Magic have re-signed 31-year-old forward Damjan Rudez, the team announced in a press release. His deal, per Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, is non-guaranteed.

In 45 games with Orlando last season, Rudez played just 7.0 minutes per game but his largest contributions to the young roster will presumably come in other areas. The forward is regarded as a positive influence in the locker room and his skillset as an adept three-point shooting big man is in vogue.

The addition of Rudez brings Orlando’s roster to 19 players but his stiffest competition for the 15th spot will likely be summer signing Khem Birch, Robbins writes.

David Adelman To Join Nuggets’ Staff

Magic assistant coach David Adelman will become part of Michael Malone’s staff in Denver, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The son of former NBA coach Rick Adelman, he spent just one year in Orlando. Adelman broke into the league in 2011 as a player development coach on his father’s staff in Minnesota and remained with the Wolves through the 2015/16 season.

Adelman will probably serve as offensive coordinator with the Nuggets, tweets John Krawczynski of the Associated Press.

Magic Sign Kalin Lucas

The Magic continue to fill out their roster for training camp, announcing today in a press release (Twitter link) that they’ve signed free agent guard Kalin Lucas to a contract. The announcement from the team also confirmed the signing of Troy Caupain, which we covered earlier this month.

Lucas, 28, went undrafted out of Michigan State back in 2011 and has played in a number of professional leagues and countries since then. In addition to spending time with clubs in Greece and Turkey, Lucas has extensive G League experience, having averaged 17.7 PPG and 4.9 APG with a .448/.391/.842 shooting line in 112 career G League contests.

Lucas was signed and waived multiple times by the Grizzlies in 2014, and ultimately saw his only NBA experience with Memphis during that 2014/15 season. His stint in the NBA was brief — he played in just one game and saw the floor for six minutes.

Having played for the Erie BayHawks last season, Lucas is a good bet to join the Lakeland Magic to start the 2017/18 campaign. Those teams are technically one and the same — the Orlando Magic bought the BayHawks and relocated the G League franchise to Florida for the coming season.

The Magic now have 18 players officially under contract, with an agreement also reportedly in place with undrafted rookie Rodney Purvis — when Purvis’ deal becomes official, Orlando would have just one open spot left on the team’s 20-man offseason roster.

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