At 11pm last night free agency officially started. The Magic had some housekeeping to take care of & did it quickly.
We resigned Nikola Vucevic, Terence Ross & Michael Carter Williams, whilst adding Al-Farouq Aminu from the Portland Trailblazers.
The details of the deals are not yet known fully, but here is what has been reported so far:
Our All-Star centre Nikola Vucevic has agreed to a 4 year deal, reportedly at $100 million. There are no details of the structuring of that deal as of yet but it is believed to be on a declining scale.
The Human Torch; TFlight31; Terence Ross has agreed a 4 year deal worth $54 million.
Al-Farouq Aminu is a 28 yr old power forward. He has been in the league since 2010 when he was the 8th pick. Aminu brings more D & playoff experience from his time in Portland. He has agreed a 3 year deal worth $29 million, which has the final year as a player option.
The final deal announced was the return of point guard & former rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams. He has agreed terms on a 1 year deal, again nothing else is yet known.
This leaves our depth chart looking like this:
15 players & one roster spot left, plus 2 two-way contracts.
Point Guard: Augustin/Fultz/Carter-Williams
Shooting Guard: Fournier/Ross/Frazier Jr
Small Forward: Isaac/Iwundu/Okeke
Power Forward: Gordon/Aminu
That is looking pretty solid to me, I feel capable of repeating the successes of last season.
So what does this mean for Orlando Magic next season?
First; the front office & Coach Clifford have both confidence in DJ Augustin & Carter-Williams from last season’s run in. More significantly you have to assume that Markelle Fultz is progressing well on his rehabilitation from injury. It is important to remember how little we risked & sacrificed to get Fultz, the former number 1 draft pick of 2017.
It also shows that the club management are happy to run again with pretty much the core that saw us have a 15 win improvement on the season, win the South Eastern Division & gain the 7th seed of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Again, don’t forget we closed the season out with a 22-9 run, ranking in that stretch as number 1 in the NBA defensively. Don’t underestimate the value of continuity. The team has a good understanding of the coach & of each other.
The mixture & depth we have between a core of developing young players & veteran experience is I think superb. Many of the players can play effectively at multiple positions, allowing for some interesting on court lineups, good cover for injury or in game foul trouble. This is where the signing of Aminu is a huge benefit, he fits our type of play & is another piece who has playoff experience. His signing should allow Aaron Gordon to fulfil some time at the guard position & use his excellent ball handling skills.
There is still a question over whether restricted free agent Khem Birch will be resigned by the club. I would love to see him back but with the season & impact he had last year. He is possibly going to command too higher priced deal for the cap space we have remaining available.
As always, LETS GO MAGIC!