Magic Rumors

Magic Add Admiral Schofield

The Magic have finalized a deal with free agent forward Admiral Schofield, according to an official team press release.

Orlando currently has 15 guaranteed rosters, so the addition of Schofield appears most likely to be an Exhibit 10 training camp deal, though official terms of the contract have not been revealed. Schofield is the 20th player on the Magic’s 2021/22 roster ahead of the September 28 start of the team’s training camp.

This is not the first time Orlando has been interested in adding Schofield. Near the end of the 2021 season, with the Magic firmly ensconced in a full-on tank, chatter emerged about Schofield potentially getting a look with the club via a hardship exception. The Magic later moved on from the deal as a result of “inconsistencies” in Schofield’s COVID-19 testing, but clearly the team’s interest hasn’t waned.

Schofield could be competing for the Magic’s available two-way player slot. The undersized (6’5″) power forward out of Tennessee was originally drafted with the No. 42 pick in 2019 by the Sixers, before being sent to the Wizards in a draft-night trade. Schofield enjoyed a decorated NCAA run. He was named to the All-SEC First Team and the All-SEC Second Team during his four-year collegiate tenure.

Across 33 career NBA appearances (all during his rookie 2019/20 season), the 23-year-old Schofield holds averages of 3.0 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 11.2 MPG.

Schofield has also suited up for the NBAGL affiliates of both the Wizards and Hornets, the Capital City Go-Go and the Greensboro Swarm, respectively. In 47 G League contests, Schofield holds averages of 14.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 2.1 APG across 29.5 MPG.

Most recently, Schofield played for the Hawks’ 2021 Summer League roster.

Contract Details For E'Twaun Moore, Magic Deal

Lopez Compares Himself To Relief Pitcher

  • Robin Lopez, signed to add depth in the middle for the rebuilding Magic, compares himself to a bullpen specialist in baseball, Josh Cohen of the team’s website writes. “You know the relief pitcher, they’re always a little rotund,” Lopez said with a grin. “They’re not playing every night necessarily, but they are going in there making an impact when the team needs them.” Lopez signed a one-year, $5MM deal with Orlando.
  • The Magic will be evaluating their long-term plans at center over the next 12 months, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic. The franchise is unlikely to make long-term commitments to both Wendell Carter Jr. and Mohamed Bamba. They are eligible for rookie scale extensions this offseason. If Carter isn’t signed to an extension, he will still have every opportunity to prove himself in the season ahead and perhaps show that his ceiling is higher than many scouts believe he can reach, Robbins adds.

E’Twaun Moore Signs With Magic

SEPTEMBER 9: The Magic have officially signed Moore, the team announced today in a press release.

SEPTEMBER 8: The Magic have agreed to a one-year, $2.6MM contract with guard E’Twaun Moore, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

It’s a veteran’s minimum contract for a player with Moore’s experience. He began his NBA career during the 2011/12 season.

Moore appeared in 27 games with the Suns on a one-year contract last season, including one start. He averaged 4.9 PPG and 1.5 APG in 14.4 MPG but struggled with his 3-point shot (31.4%). He also saw action in seven of Phoenix’s postseason games, averaging 2.4 PPG in 6.6 MPG.

This will be Moore’s second stint with the Magic. He appeared in 154 games with Orlando during his second and third seasons in the league.

Moore’s NBA career has also included stops in Boston, Chicago and New Orleans. He’s appeared in 598 regular-season games, averaging 7.9 PPG and 1.8 APG in 21.o MPG while making 38.8% of his 3-point attempts.

Orlando already had 17 players on its official roster, including 14 with guaranteed deals. Adding Moore makes it less likely that those without guaranteed deals will have a spot on the opening-night roster.

Scotto’s Latest: Blazers, Beasley, Patterson, Ennis, More

The Trail Blazers have 13 players with guaranteed contracts on their roster and have added Dennis Smith Jr. and Marquese Chriss on non-guaranteed deals to vie for one of the team’s open roster spots. However, that competition may end up including more veterans than just Smith and Chriss.

According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Trail Blazers are eyeing other free agent forwards as possible training camp invitees. Michael Beasley, who played for Portland’ Summer League team, is one possibility. The club is also eyeing veteran stretch four Patrick Patterson, says Scotto.

The Blazers still only have 16 players under contract, which means there are four more spots available on their 20-man offseason roster.

As we wait to see how Portland fills those openings, here are a few more items of interest from Scotto:

  • Having previously identified the Bulls as one team interested in free agent wing James Ennis, Scotto adds a few more clubs to that list, suggesting that Ennis has also drawn interest from the Trail Blazers, Lakers, and Magic. Ennis, who has spent most of the last two seasons in Orlando, knocked down 43.3% of his three-point attempts in 2020/21.
  • Another player who has received interest from the Trail Blazers is big man Isaiah Hartenstein, according to Scotto, who says the Clippers have kicked the tires on the former Cav as well. As I detailed on Tuesday, Hartenstein is the only player who is still a free agent after declining an option earlier this summer.
  • Before he signed with Chicago, Alize Johnson generated interest from a handful of other teams, including the Clippers, Suns, and Knicks, per Scotto. If the Clippers had wanted Johnson badly enough, they could’ve claimed him off waivers using one of their trade exceptions, which wasn’t an option for Phoenix or New York.

Magic Sign Jeff Dowtin, Hassani Gravett, Jon Teske

The Magic have signed three free agents, announcing in a press release that guard Jeff Dowtin, guard Hassani Gravett, and center Jon Teske have been added to the team’s offseason roster.

All three players have signed non-guaranteed deals with Orlando in the past and then suited up for the team’s G League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic. While Gravett played for Lakeland in 2019/20, Dowtin and Teske were part of the squad that won the G League championship in the 2021 bubble earlier this year. All three also played for Orlando’s Summer League team last month.

Dowtin, who went undrafted out of Rhode Island in 2020, averaged 6.5 PPG and 2.5 APG in 15 games (19.7 MPG) for Lakeland last season. Teske, who played his college ball at Michigan before going undrafted a year ago, started 12 of 15 games for Lakeland, recording 6.7 PPG and 3.4 RPG in 19.8 minutes per contest.

Gravett, undrafted out of South Carolina in 2019, spent one season with Lakeland before playing for MZT Skopje overseas in 2020/21. He won a Macedonian League championship with the club.

It’s unlikely that any of the Magic’s three new additions will have a serious chance to compete for a spot on the regular season roster. I expect all three will end up in the G League again this year, with their Exhibit 10 deals giving them the chance to earn bonuses of up to $50K.

Jonathan Isaac On Playing In Season Opener: “We’ll See”

Magic forward Jonathan Isaac, who missed the entire 2020/21 season while recovering from a torn left ACL, remains unsure of the exact timetable for his return to action this fall, writes Chris Hays of The Orlando Sentinel.

As Hays details, Isaac addressed his recovery briefly during a community event in Orlando on Sunday. The former lottery pick confirmed he’s getting closer to returning to action, but wasn’t ready to guarantee he’ll be in the lineup for the Magic’s regular season opener on October 20.

“We’ll see. That’s all I can say about that is: we’ll see,” Isaac said when asked if he’d play on opening night. “I’m on the court. I’m weaning out of the brace. I’m jumping. I’m finishing around the basket and such. I’m easing my way. … I’m getting there.”

Although Isaac’s injury technically occurred during the 2019/20 regular season, he hasn’t had as long to recover as he would during a typical NBA year due to the league’s compressed schedule since the coronavirus stoppage. He tore his ACL last August during the 2020 summer restart at Walt Disney World.

Even if Isaac is cleared for action prior to opening night, the Magic figure to proceed with caution. The 23-year-old forward, who has displayed All-Defense talent early in his career, is a key part of the club’s future, having been locked up through the 2024/25 season with a four-year extension last December.

Orlando is also in full-fledged rebuilding mode and likely won’t be in the mix for a playoff spot this season, so there’s no reason to bring back Isaac until the team is certain he’s back to 100%. However, for his part, the former Florida State standout is feeling optimistic about his ability to return to the court soon.

“I feel good. My knee is doing great. I’m making strides, I’m getting stronger and I’m just taking it one day at a time,” Isaac said on Sunday, per Hays.

Robbins Examines Magic's Starting Five; Orlando Retaining Kreutzer, Murphy

  • If everyone on the Magic‘s roster is fully healthy to start the 2021/22 season, Josh Robbins of The Athletic thinks Gary Harris and Jonathan Isaac would be the only two players assured of a spot in the starting lineup. Robbins views Wendell Carter as the most likely starter at center, with Markelle Fultz and Jalen Suggs in the mix for the point guard spot. Both Fultz and Suggs could theoretically start if Orlando is comfortable with a three-guard lineup, Robbins notes.
  • The Magic are retaining Bruce Kreutzer and Dylan Murphy to be part of Jamahl Mosley‘s new coaching staff, reports Robbins (Twitter links). Both Kreutzer and Murphy served under Steve Clifford for the last three seasons in Orlando.

Robert Franks Signs In Australia

Free agent forward Robert Franks has signed with the Brisbane Bullets of Australia’s National Basketball League, the team announced in a press release.

Franks, who went undrafted in 2019, played seven games on two 10-day contracts with the Magic last season. He played 14.4 minutes per contest, averaging 6.1 points and 2.0 rebounds on 46% shooting.

“His unique skillset and versatility provides everything we’ve been looking for at this position,” Bullets general manager Sam Mackinnon said. “I spoke to Robert yesterday, he’s looking forward to joining his teammates and meeting all the Bullet fans. He’s hungry and motivated to take the next step with us.”

Prior to signing his 10-day deals, Franks inked an Exhibit 10 contract with Orlando and spent time with the team’s G League affiliate. He averaged 12.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game across those 14 contests with the Lakeland Magic.

Southeast Notes: Bamba, Anthony, Haslem, Love

The Magic are coming to something of a crossroads with Mohamed Bamba, writes Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

The former No. 6 overall pick has only started six games in three years, with five of them coming in the final 24 games of last season, after the Magic traded the team’s long-standing linchpin, Nikola Vucevic, to the Bulls. Of course, those starts only came when Wendell Carter Jr., who came back from Chicago in the deal, wasn’t playing.

With Bamba entering the final year of his rookie contract, Robbins talks to NBA scouts about the future for the big man.

Talent-wise, he has a ceiling that he could be really good if he’s locked-in,” one scout said. “He has a chance, but I don’t know if his motor will let him get there.”

In examining Bamba’s strengths, Robbins quotes the big man’s 91st-percentile for percentage of opposing teams’ shots blocked, as well as his burgeoning jumpshot, but scouts worry that his tools are far ahead of his defensive instincts and reactivity. One scout says that Orlando may ultimately be better served to let another team try to develop Bamba once his rookie deal expires. However, Robbins observes that a new coach and system could be huge for his development, and that the team still seems at least relatively committed to him.

We have more news from around the Southeast Division:

  • In a similar piece from earlier this month, Robbins talked to scouts about Cole Anthony, who, like Bamba, faces a similar uncertainty given the Magic‘s depth at the point guard spot. The scouts came away more impressed with Anthony’s ability to get into the paint and play with physicality than expected, especially on the offensive glass, but almost unanimously said his lack of vision as a playmaker and his limitations defensively will probably keep him from becoming a starting point guard for a good team.
  • Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel believes that it’s possible we see a mid-season send-off for lifelong Heat veteran Udonis Haslem, he writes in a recent mailbag. He also says Haslem may have been biding his time and waiting for the perfect moment to get his big farewell.
  • In a separate piece, Winderman calls Kevin Love‘s recently-reported disinterest in a buyout “pure posturing,” while saying the Heat would likely be interested, especially with a bit of a hole at the power forward position. However, he’s unsure if Miami currently holds the “contender” status in the eyes of players that could woo Love over a team like the Lakers or Warriors.