Magic Rumors: Rising Roster, Markelle Fultz, Free Agency Targets

The Magic enter the offseason with several smaller decisions to make with their own roster and the financial wiggle room to lure a veteran via free agency or trade.

Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Georges Niang, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA

It only adds to the promise they displayed all regular season and into the first round of the playoffs, where they stretched the more experienced Cavaliers to a seven-game series.

For the Magic, it all starts with Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs, though so many others played underrated yet pivotal roles — from Cole Anthony to Wendell Carter Jr. to Gary Harris, Markelle Fultz, Moritz Wagner, Jonathan Isaac and Joe Ingles.

“The Banchero ($12,160,800), Wagner ($7,007,092) and Suggs ($9,188,385) trio remain cheap heading into the 2024-25 season, and of the younger talents, only Cole Anthony ($12.9 million) has been paid in his second contract so far,” wrote Mark Deeks of HoopsHype. “Eight-figure or near eight-figure commitments to veterans such as Wendell Carter Jr ($11,950,000), Joe Ingles ($11 million) and Mo Wagner ($8 million) reside on the books, but none are detrimental, and while the $17.4 million still owed to the fragile Jonathan Isaac next season stands alone as an anomaly, that contract only has one year left to run, and is also unguaranteed due to his past injuries.”

Deeks went into further detail.

“Financially, then, Orlando is quite well positioned and is further aided this summer by the combined $30 million expiring salaries of Gary Harris and Markelle Fultz,” he wrote. “They also still have their 2024 first-round pick, due to be No. 18, and have several picks from other teams coming their way in future seasons, with none outgoing.”

So, yes, the Magic have plenty of ways to build around their younger core — or frankly, the ability to just stay the course and maintain financial flexibility while taking the next steps under coach Jamahl Mosley.

The great thing about Orlando is this is a team that is on the rise and really doesn’t need to change a thing — but can add additional firepower fairly seamlessly if it chooses.

  • Fultz’s inability to stay healthy may mean his time with the Magic has reached an end. The former No. 1 overall draft pick, he contributes when he stays on the floor, but that hasn’t been nearly enough.
  • Deeks wrote: “For the Magic, it seems as though the Fultz era will have run its course –they will need to renounce him for cap space, and have largely replaced his on-court role in-house. For Fultz as an individual, perhaps the best thing to do will be to take a minimum-salary contract on a high-profile team and rebuild his career/value, in the way that Malik Beasley and Kelly Oubre have done this season.”
  • Harris is an unrestricted free agent. “Harris may be a candidate for a taxpayer MLE-sized deal somewhere, and perhaps here with Orlando (who have his Bird rights and require no other exceptions to do it),” Deeks wrote. “A big pay cut, though, seems inevitable, and as with Fultz, Orlando needs that cap space more than those Bird rights.”
  • Goga Bitadze is also an unrestricted free agent and could be back on a team-friendly deal. Ingles and Mo Wagner have team options, again, for $11 million and $8 million, respectively.
  • Of course, there’s been plenty of talk that the Magic could swing for the fences and try to land Clippers star Paul George, as we relayed here.
  • Declining Warriors star Klay Thompson, an unrestricted free agent, has also been repeatedly linked to the Magic in their quest to find a veteran shooter in reserve. We have the full post on Thompson/Orlando right here.

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