Admiral Schofield

Magic Sign Admiral Schofield To Two-Way Contract

5:46pm: The re-signing of Schofield to a two-way deal is now official, per a Magic press release (Twitter link).

12:15pm: Free agent forward Admiral Schofield is re-signing with the Magic on a two-way contract, agents Mark Bartelstein and George Roussakis tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

A second-round pick in 2019 out of Tennessee, Schofield began his professional career with the Wizards but spent most of the past two seasons with the Magic, providing depth in Orlando’s frontcourt.

In 2022/23, he averaged 4.2 PPG and 1.7 RPG on .451/.324/.913 shooting in 37 games (12.2 MPG).

The 26-year-old had been on a two-way contract for most of his time with Orlando until he was promoted to a standard deal in February. His multiyear contract included a team option for ’23/24, which the Magic declined in late June, making Schofield an unrestricted free agent.

Once Schofield’s new contract is official, the Magic will have 15 players on their standard roster and two of their three two-way spots filled. Guard Kevon Harris occupies the other two-way slot.

NBA teams are permitted to roster 21 players in the offseason as opposed to 18 once the regular season begins(15 on standard deals and three two-way contracts).

Magic Exercise Option On Bitadze, Decline Two Others

The Magic have exercised their team option on reserve center Goga Bitadze for the 2023/24 season, while turning down their options on veteran point guard Michael Carter-Williams and combo forward Admiral Schofield, the club has announced in a press release (Twitter link).

Bitadze’s team option is worth $2,066,585. Carter-Williams would have earned $3.1MM next year, while Schofield’s option was worth $2MM.

Bitadze, still just 23, joined the Magic midway through 2022/23 after spending his prior three-and-a-half NBA seasons with the Pacers. He carved out a role as a valuable bench option for a super-sized young Orlando club after being waived by Indiana.

Across his 17 healthy contests for Orlando, the 6’11” big man averaged 5.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.2 APG and 0.9 BPG in just 15.0 MPG.

Though Orlando finished outside of the postseason picture with a 34-48 record last year, the rebuilding team is loaded with intriguing lottery talent among its starters, including the two picks the Magic added in last week’s draft, former Arkansas guard Anthony Black and ex-Michigan swingman Jett Howard. Bitadze makes sense for the timeline of the team as a young, cost-efficient option off the bench with plenty of upside left.

Carter-Williams, the 2013/14 Rookie of the Year, returned to the Magic in February after the club waived him during the 2021/22 season, as he was recovering from a left ankle surgery. He appeared in just four games during this most recent stint with Orlando, averaging 4.3 PPG, 1.8 APG and 1.3 RPG in 11 MPG. It remains to be seen if the well-traveled 31-year-old will get another league opportunity.

The 6’5″ Schofield has spent two of his three NBA seasons thus far with the Magic. In 37 games last year, he averaged 4.2 PPG on .451/.324/.913 shooting splits.

Southeast Notes: Hawks’ Coaching Search, Schofield, Gill

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that Quin Snyder, Kenny Atkinson, and Charles Lee will be among the Hawks‘ head coaching candidates as the team searches for a permanent replacement for Nate McMillan, who was let go during the All-Star break.

Shams Charania of The Athletic confirms those names and adds a few more to the Hawks’ list of possible targets, reporting (via Twitter) that Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez, Spurs assistant Mitch Johnson, and South Bay Lakers coach Miles Simon are expected to receive consideration from Atlanta.

Fernandez has generated some head coaching buzz in the past, but as far as I can tell, this is the first time either Johnson or Simon has been connected to a head coaching opening at the NBA level.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • McMillan took the fall for the Hawks‘ “organizational-wide failure” this season, according to Jeff Schultz of The Athletic, who argues that – even if McMillan’s dismissal was justified – the team’s problems extend beyond the job the head coach did. Schultz cites front office dysfunction as one key issue for the Hawks in recent months.
  • Admiral Schofield‘s new contract with the Magic is a two-year, minimum-salary deal, Hoops Rumors has learned. Schofield will earn $506,508 for the rest of this season and Orlando will hold a $1,997,238 team option on the forward for 2023/24.
  • Wizards forward Anthony Gill hasn’t played a major role in D.C. this season, averaging a modest 10.0 minutes per game in 41 appearances. However, Gill’s enthusiasm and positivity have made him an important culture-setter for the club, as Ava Wallace outlines in an interesting story for The Washington Post. Gill signed a guaranteed two-year, minimum-salary deal with the Wizards last summer, so he remains under contract for $2MM next season.

Magic Promote Admiral Schofield To Standard Roster

2:11pm: The move is official, the Magic announced in a press release.

1:22pm: The Magic are signing forward Admiral Schofield to a new two-year standard contract, agents Mark Bartelstein and George Roussakis tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Schofield had been on a two-way deal since re-signing with Orlando last July. The new agreement will promote him to the 15-man roster with no corresponding move necessary, since the Magic are currently carrying only 14 players on standard contracts.

A second-round pick in 2019 out of Tennessee, Schofield began his professional career with the Wizards but has spent most of the last two seasons with the Magic, providing depth in Orlando’s frontcourt. In 2022/23, he has averaged 4.6 PPG and 1.9 RPG in 27 appearances (13.0 MPG), while posting career-best shooting marks (.478/.333/.895).

The exact terms of Schofield’s new deal aren’t known, but it’s unlikely to include much – if any – guaranteed money beyond this season. A minimum-salary contract seems probable, but the Magic do have an unused portion of their mid-level exception available if they want to give the 25-year-old more than the minimum.

NBA Suspends Two Pistons Players, Nine Magic Players For Roles In Fracas

The NBA has suspended two Pistons players and nine Magic players for their roles in an altercation during the second quarter of Wednesday’s game, the league has announced (Twitter link).

Pistons guard Killian Hayes was given the harshest punishment, a three-game suspension without pay. Magic center Moritz Wagner has been suspended for two games, while Detroit guard Hamidou Diallo was also dinged for a one-game suspension. Both Hayes and Diallo will be held out of the team’s road game against the Bulls Friday.

Hayes, Wagner and Diallo were all ejected from the game Wednesday night, which Detroit won 121-101, for their roles in the on-court confrontation that began when Wagner hip-checked Hayes out of bounds into the Pistons’ bench while the two were scrambling for a loose ball. Diallo subsequently shoved Wagner in the back, but Hayes then escalated the conflict when he punched Wagner in the back of the head. Wagner appeared to lose consciousness after the hit. Several Magic players left the bench to support Wagner and all have been penalized for doing so.

The NBA is additionally suspending eight additional Orlando players after they left the bench to support Wagner during the scuffle: guards Cole Anthony, R.J. Hampton, Gary Harris and Kevon Harris, swingmen Franz Wagner and Admiral Schofield, and big men Wendell Carter Jr. and Mo Bamba. All eight players will receive one-game bans.

The NBA’s press release indicates that the absences of the Magic players will be staggered to ensure the team has enough available bodies for its ensuing two contests. Anthony, Gary Harris, Hampton, Bamba, and Carter will miss Orlando’s next game on Friday against the Wizards. Wagner will also begin his two-game suspension on Friday. The others will miss the club’s January 4 matchup with the Thunder.

Magic Re-Sign Admiral Schofield To Two-Way Deal

The Magic have re-signed Admiral Schofield to a two-way contract, the team announced (via Twitter).

Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel was the first to report that Schofield was sticking with the Magic (Twitter link). The 25-year-old forward was issued a one-year, two-way qualifying offer in June to make him a restricted free agent, so he likely just accepted that QO.

The 42nd pick of the 2019 draft, Schofield spent his rookie season with the Wizards, appearing in 33 games (11.2 MPG) with modest averages of 3.0 PPG and 1.4 RPG. He was traded to the Thunder in the 2020 offseason and subsequently waived.

Schofield signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Magic last year, was waived before the season started, and spent the first few months of 2021/22 with Orlando’s affiliate in Lakeland before signing a couple of 10-day hardship deals during the winter COVID-19 outbreak.

He performed well enough to be promoted to a two-way contract in January, which he remained on until the end of the season. In 38 games (12.3 MPG) with the Magic last season, he averaged 3.8 PPG and 2.3 RPG on .419/.329/.800 shooting.

The Magic now have one of their two-way slots filled, but the second remains open.

QO Decisions: Nwora, T. Brown, Rockets, Moon, More

The Bucks have tendered a qualifying offer to Jordan Nwora, making the 23-year-old a restricted free agent, a league source tells Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link). Nwora’s QO for 2022/23 is worth a projected $2,036,090.

The 45th pick of the 2020 draft, Nwora saw his role expand in his second season with Milwaukee, appearing in 63 games (19.1 MPG) with averages of 7.9 PPG and 3.6 RPG on .403/.348/.837 shooting. He’s No. 43 on our list of top 50 free agents.

Let’s round-up some more qualifying offer decisions…

  • The Bulls won’t extend a QO to Troy Brown ($7,228,448), making him an unrestricted free agent, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (via Twitter). Brown, who turns 23 on July 28, was the 15th pick of the 2018 draft but didn’t leave much of an impression with Chicago, averaging 4.3 PPG and 3.1 RPG on .419/.353/.769 shooting in 66 games (16 MPG) in ’21/22.
  • The Rockets aren’t giving qualifying offers to either Bruno Fernando ($2,228,276) or Anthony Lamb (two-way), according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Fernando, the 34th pick of the 2019 draft, has seen scant NBA minutes, appearing in 119 contests with an average of 9.2 MPG over his three seasons with Atlanta, Houston and Boston. His QO was worth more than the minimum and the Rockets have lots of players already under contract next season after sending Christian Wood to Dallas for the No. 26 pick and four veterans.
  • Xavier Moon (two-way) won’t receive a qualifying offer from the Clippers, as Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times relays (via Twitter). Moon will be an unrestricted free agent after reaching the NBA as a 27-year-old rookie last season. He has plenty of international experience, having made stops in France, England, Israel and Canada before earning three 10-day hardship deals and later a two-way contract with L.A. in ’21/22.
  • A couple of two-way players received QOs from their respective clubs, sources tell Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter links). Nathan Knight received his offer from the Timberwolves, while the Magic extended a QO to Admiral Schofield. Both players will be restricted free agents.

And-Ones: Kerr, Schofield, Lopez, Harrell, Play-In, McClung, Harrison

Would less be more? When it comes to the NBA schedule, Warriors coach Steve Kerr believes so. He’d like to see the NBA cut its regular season from 82 games to 72, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. That would encourage coaches to play their regulars more often, instead of giving them nights off, particularly as the season winds down.

What makes the most sense is cutting back to maybe a 72-game schedule,” Kerr said. “Take 10 games off and get more time to rest in between games. I think you’ll get buy-in from the teams to play their guys more often.”

We have more tidbits from around the basketball world:

  • Magic forward Admiral Schofield was fined $20K, while Magic center Robin Lopez and Hornets center Montrezl Harrell were fined $15K for their roles in an on-court altercation on Thursday, the NBA announced (Twitter link). All three were ejected during the fourth-quarter scuffle (video link).
  • Commissioner Adam Silver likes the way the play-in tournament has encouraged teams on the playoff bubble to remain competitive but might tweak it in future years, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic tweets. Executive VP of basketball strategy and analytics Evan Wasch suggested the league would consider a scenario where the ninth- and 10th-place finishers in each conference would have to win a certain number of games to qualify for the play-in.
  • Guard Mac McClung was named NBA G League Rookie of the Year after averaging 21.6 PPG and 7.6 APG for the South Bay Lakers, the league tweets. The Lakers rewarded McClung with a two-way contract on Saturday.
  • Free agent guard Shaquille Harrison has been named G League Defensive Player of the Year, according to a league press release. Harrison averaged 1.93 steals per game for the Delaware Blue Coats.

Southeast Notes: Schofield, Beal, Hachimura, Bryant, Collins

Admiral Schofield spent several months trying to earn a spot with the Magic, so he was thrilled to sign a two-way contract this week, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. The 24-year-old forward signed with Orlando in September, but was waived after training camp. He spent time with the team’s G League affiliate in Lakeland and inked a pair of 10-day hardship contracts before earning a more permanent position on Thursday.

“In the summer I set out to be here in this organization,” Schofield said. “The opportunity didn’t present itself right away, but believing in the organization and what the organization believes in is a blessing. I love the direction this organization is going. Me being on this team, I can help add to that culture.”

Schofield was the 42nd pick in the 2019 draft and began his career in Washington. During the following offseason, he was traded to the Thunder, who released him before the season began. He continued his career in the G League and took advantage of the opportunity he got as a hardship replacement, averaging 4.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in his first nine games with Orlando.

“Lakeland Magic just gave me a lot of reps,” Schofield said. “A lot of opportunities to practice and see how I fit into the top team in the Orlando Magic. Being on a two-way contract, there’s a high possibility I’ll be back down there and I’ll be excited to step into that opportunity even more.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Bradley Beal‘s name isn’t being mentioned in trade rumors this year, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst states on his latest podcast (hat tip to RealGM). A popular trade target in past seasons, the Wizards guard is expected to opt out of his contract and test free agency this summer.
  • Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington looks at how the Wizards will incorporate Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant now that both players have cleared the health and safety protocols. Hachimura hasn’t played this season due to personal reasons, and Bryant is recovering from ACL surgery. Both will come off the bench initially as they compete for minutes in the team’s rotation.
  • John Collins is as frustrated as anyone by the Hawks‘ poor defensive efforts, tweets Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’ve banged my head on the wall a couple times trying to figure it out myself,” Collins said after Atlanta gave up 134 points in Friday’s loss to the Lakers. “There’s really no excuse.”

Magic Sign Admiral Schofield To Two-Way Deal, Waive Mychal Mulder

The Magic announced in a press release (via Twitter) that they’ve signed forward Admiral Schofield to a two-way contract, and in order to do so they’ve waived guard Mychal Mulder.

Schofield recently completed two 10-day contracts with Orlando via hardship exceptions, and the team decided to keep him around. In nine games with the Magic this season, he is averaging 4.8 PPG and 3.1 RPG in 16.9 MPG.

The Magic previously signed Schofield to an Exhibit 10 training camp deal, but he was waived ahead of the regular season. He’d been playing with Orlando’s G League affiliate in Lakeland prior to the call-up, averaging 14.4 PPG and 7.3 RPG in 12 games (33.0 MPG).

The combo 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. Across 33 NBA appearances during his 2019/20 rookie season with Washington, the 24-year-old Schofield averaged 3.0 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 11.2 MPG.

Mulder spent three seasons in the G League after going undrafted out of Kentucky in 2017. He signed a 10-day contract with Golden State in February of 2020 and played well enough to earn a multi-year deal. The 27-year-old played 60 games for Golden State last season, averaging 5.6 PPG and 1.0 RPG with a .397 3PT% in 12.8 MPG. He remained with the Warriors through the preseason, but was waived in the team’s final round of cuts.

Mulder inked a two-way deal with Orlando on October 26, but he struggled to make an impact during his stint with the Magic this season, averaging 3.7 PPG and 1.4 RPG on .299/.283/1.000 shooting in 15 games (13 MPG).