Magic Rumors

Orthopedic Surgeon Weighs In On Fultz's Recovery Timeline

  • Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel spoke to Dr. David Lee, a local orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon, to get a sense of how long it might take Magic point guard Markelle Fultz to return from a fractured toe. Lee estimated that Fultz could potentially return to Orlando’s lineup in about four to eight weeks, which would be anywhere from mid-October to mid-November. However, the team hasn’t provided a specific recovery timeline.

Contract Details: Lakers, Galloway, DSJ, McCollum, More

When the Lakers signed Matt Ryan and Dwayne Bacon to non-guaranteed training camp contracts earlier this month, both players received Exhibit 9 clauses in their new deals, but not Exhibit 10s, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Exhibit 9 contracts are non-guaranteed camp deals that don’t count against the cap during the preseason and offer teams some protection in the event of an injury. Exhibit 10s are similar, but also allow teams to convert the player to a two-way deal (if he’s eligible) or to give him a bonus worth up to $50K if he’s waived and then spends at least 60 days with the team’s G League affiliate.

As a general rule, a player who signs a training camp contract without an Exhibit 10 clause is usually just competing for a spot on his team’s 15-man regular season roster and won’t end up playing for the club’s G League affiliate if he doesn’t make the cut.

Langston Galloway (Pacers), Dennis Smith Jr. (Hornets), LiAngelo Ball (Hornets), Cody Zeller (Jazz), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (Suns), and Wes Iwundu (Trail Blazers) are among the other recently signed free agents who signed Exhibit 9 – not Exhibit 10 – contracts.

Here are a few more contract details from around the NBA:

Practices May Be Altered By Ian

  • The Magic have to alter their practice plans this week due to Hurricane Ian, Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel reports. The players are concerned about the deteriorating weather conditions. “We just talked about it,” big man Franz Wagner said. “Obviously, I’m nervous because I’ve never experienced anything like this. Just trying to listen to everybody here, what they’re telling us and making sure we have everything at home. Trying to be safe.” Wednesday’s practice has already been called off, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweets.

Magic Notes: Fultz, Isaac, Bamba, Bol

Point guard Markelle Fultz and forward Jonathan Isaac are viewed by the Magic as cornerstone pieces, but the two former lottery picks haven’t seen much action in recent years. Fultz has appeared in just 26 games since the start of the 2020/21 season, while Isaac hasn’t played at all during that time.

There was some optimism this summer that this would finally be the year both Fultz and Isaac are back in the Magic’s lineup, but it seems that won’t happen right away. According to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link), Isaac is still ramping up and isn’t yet ready for group work, while Fultz – who has a fractured toe – will miss all of training camp and doesn’t yet have a timetable for his return.

It has been a long road back for Isaac in particular — he tore his ACL in 2020 and suffered a setback near the end of his recovery process earlier this year, undergoing a minor procedure in March. However, he told reporters on Monday that he’ll definitely be back on the court this season and that he aims to return sooner rather than later (Twitter link via Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel).

Here’s more on the Magic:

  • Asked on Monday about his decision to re-sign with the Magic this offseason after not receiving a qualifying offer from the team, Mohamed Bamba cited “familiarity” with the franchise as an important factor (video link via Price). “I love the direction that we’re going in as an organization,” Bamba said. “I’m really close with the coaching staff, and that’s across the board. I feel like there’s so much unfinished business here to do.”
  • Bol Bol has yet to play in a game for the Magic, having undergone foot surgery in January before being acquired by Orlando in a February trade. But he’s back on a new contract with the club and told reporters on Monday that he’s fully healthy entering the 2022/23 season (Twitter link via Price).
  • Isaac’s health and Bol’s potential contributions are among the frontcourt questions facing the Magic this season, Price writes for The Orlando Sentinel. Wendell Carter‘s continued progression at both end of the floor will also be important for Orlando as the team looks to incorporate No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero, Price adds.

Magic Notes: Rookies, Training Camp, Wagner, Lineups

When the 2022/23 season tips off next month, the Magic may be looking for instant contributions from first-year starting power forward Paolo Banchero, the top pick in the 2022 draft out of Duke, while his fellow rookie small forward Caleb Houstan, the No. 32 pick this season out of Michigan, will have more modest expectations as a rookie, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel.

Price notes that Banchero thrived in Summer League play, and, thanks to his well-rounded offensive game, is currently the preseason Rookie of the Year favorite. Houstan, meanwhile, could become a 3-and-D swingman eventually. The 6’8″ swingman could see some minutes for Orlando in the early going, especially with veteran shooting guard Gary Harris sidelined for the start of the year, but Price expects Houstan to also log some time with the Lakeland Magic, the club’s NBAGL affiliate.

There’s more out of Orlando:

  • With the Magic’s training camp around the corner, Khobi Price and Rich Pope of The Orlando Sentinel (video link) break down which players have the most to gain from the preseason. Price thinks that the team’s backcourt, including key players R.J. Hampton, Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs, could benefit from a competitive camp experience.
  • Magic second-year small forward Franz Wagner enjoyed a memorable EuroBasket 2022 adventure playing for his native Germany this summer, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. The team fell to Spain in the semifinals, but ultimately managed to secure a bronze medal by beating Poland. Wagner averaged 15.2 PPG, 4 RPG and 1.7 APG, while connecting on 46.3% of his triples. “We played a lot of tight games,” Wagner said. “A lot of important games and games where every possession matters. That mindset should help me this next year and hopefully, I can help the team with that.. I want to continue to improve as a player. Playmaking, shooting — honestly, whatever the team needs. I just to be an impactful player on the team.”

Markelle Fultz To Miss Most Of Camp With Fractured Toe

Magic guard Markelle Fultz suffered a fracture in his left big toe during an offseason workout, the team announced (via Twitter).

Imaging confirmed the injury when Fultz arrived in Orlando. He won’t need surgery, but he’s expected to miss most of training camp, which starts on Tuesday, a source tells Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel.

Fultz is wearing a walking boot and will undergo a program of rehab and treatment. His projected return will depend on how the toe responds.

Injuries have been a recurring problem for the former No. 1 pick, who has played more than 19 games only once in his NBA career. Fultz missed much of last season while recovering from a torn ACL and wasn’t able to return until late February. He got into 18 games and averaged 10.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per night.

Magic Sign Aleem Ford, Zavier Simpson, Waive Joel Ayayi

The Magic have set their roster for the start of training camp, signing Aleem Ford and Zavier Simpson and placing Joel Ayayi on waivers, the team announced (via Twitter).

Ford, a 24-year-old small forward, got into five games after signing a 10-day contract with Orlando last December when the roster was ravaged by COVID-19. The former Wisconsin star played most of the season with the Magic’s G League affiliate in Lakeland, averaging 12.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 31 games.

Simpson, whose signing has been rumored since late July, started four games for the Thunder at the end of last season after inking a 10-day hardship contract in April. The 25-year-old point guard has played mainly in the G League since going undrafted out of Michigan in 2020.

Ayayi, a former two-way player with the Wizards, signed with Orlando 12 days ago and may be ticketed for the G League. The 22-year-old shooting guard saw limited playing time in seven games with Washington last season before being waived in March.

Magic Notes: Front Office Changes, Isaac, Harris, Shooting

The Magic issued a press release this week announcing a long list of promotions and additions within their basketball operations department.

Among the most noteworthy of those front office changes was the promotion of Pete D’Alessandro – a former high-ranking executive in Sacramento and Denver – to the role of associate general manager. D’Alessandro had previously been an assistant general manager for Orlando.

David Bencs has been promoted to fill D’Alessandro’s old position as an assistant GM, while Adetunji Adedipe was named the Magic’s new vice president of player personnel. Kevin Tiller, meanwhile, has become the new GM of the Lakeland Magic, Orlando’s G League affiliate.

Here’s more on the Magic:

  • Magic players led the NBA last season in games missed due to injuries and COVID-19 protocols (449), according to Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel, who explores the health-related questions already facing the club this fall. As Price observes, the team will have to address the status of Jonathan Isaac, as well as Gary Harris, on Media Day next week. Isaac hasn’t played since 2020 due to an ACL tear and suffered a setback in March, while Harris underwent surgery this offseason to address a meniscus tear.
  • In a separate story for The Orlando Sentinel, Price identifies three storylines to monitor related to the Magic’s wing players. Besides Harris’ injury, Price will be keeping an eye on Franz Wagner‘s usage following a busy summer with the German national team and will be curious to see how the battle for minutes at power forward could affect the wing rotation.
  • After finishing among the NBA’s bottom four teams in three-point percentage in back-to-back seasons, the Magic hope to improve their shooting this season, Price writes for The Orlando Sentinel, though any upgrades they made in that area may be marginal. Price notes that second-round pick Caleb Houston was a solid three-point shooter at Michigan and suggests that play-makers like Markelle Fultz and Paolo Banchero may be able to open up better looks for teammates beyond the arc.

Magic Notes: Offseason, Wagner, EuroBasket

Following a 22-60 season in 2021/22, the Magic are crossing their fingers that No. 1 overall draft pick Paolo Banchero can become their transformative franchise player. In a new piece for The Athletic, Zach Harper recaps the Banchero draft selection and the rest of Orlando’s eventful 2022 offseason

In addition to Banchero, the Magic selected swingman Caleb Houstan out of Michigan with the No. 32 pick in the draft. Harper thinks that the team had a solid, under-the-radar summer and views Banchero as a prospect capable of making a positive impact on the team even as a rookie. Still, Harper cautions that the team will probably continue to have trouble recording a significant uptick in wins this season. He also wonders about how the team’s top three healthy backcourt players — Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony and Markelle Fultz — will contribute.

There’s more out of Orlando:

  • Magic small forward Franz Wagner, the No. 7 draft pick in 2021 out of Michigan, enjoyed an eventful 2022 EuroBasket run playing for his native Germany. Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel takes a look at where the 21-year-old thrived for the German national team, and what areas could still use some work. Price notes that Wagner’s play-making, his three-point shooting, and his skills as an off-ball cutter were among the highlights of his summer abroad. Price suggests that Wagner could still work to upgrade his ability to finish around the rim in coverage.
  • After nabbing the bronze medal against Poland today, Wagner is optimistic that the German national team can look at its success at EuroBasket as a foundation for the future, per John Rammas of Eurohoops.“Hopefully, we can keep a little momentum from this,” Wagner said. “It was very difficult, I thought. Mentally, to re-focus and get a really intense Polish team. They did a good job fighting all tournament and obviously tonight. That was the toughest part.”

Three Guard Storylines To Monitor

  • Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel lists three storylines to monitor regarding the Magic‘s guards. Price wonders whether Jalen Suggs can improve his shooting percentages after an injury-plagued rookie season saw him post a .361/.214/.773 slash line. His 21.4% three-point percentage ranked last out of 292 players who appeared in 20+ games and averaged at least two attempts per contest, Price notes. R.J. Hampton‘s role and the team’s backcourt rotation and starters are also worth keeping an eye on, Price writes.