Posts Tagged ‘Orlando Magic’

Orlando Magic guard Gary Harris tore the meniscus in his left knee and will undergo further evaluation to establish a timetable for a return to action, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 27-year-old appeared in 61 games for the Magic, his highest mark since the 2017-18 season. Harris has suffered various lower-body injuries during his seven seasons in the league, including hurting his hip, foot, and groin.

Orlando acquired the Michigan State product from the Denver Nuggets as part of a trade package for forward Aaron Gordon.

Harris agreed to a two-year, $26-million contract extension with the Magic in the offseason after averaging 11.1 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and a steal last season.

Shaquille O’Neal started his NBA career with the Orlando Magic, and he now has his sights set on potential ownership of the team.

O’Neal made it known on the latest episode of “The Big Podcast with Shaq” that he and former Magic teammate Dennis Scott are interested in purchasing the team if it’s ever put up for sale.

“We still run that franchise, and if they wanna sell it to us, DeVos family, we’re ready to go right now,” O’Neal said.

Scott, who was a guest on the episode, called on O’Neal’s “billionaire friends” to fund the purchase while letting him and O’Neal “run the show.”

“Dennis, we got the money. You ain’t got to worry about the money,” O’Neal responded. “But this message goes out to the DeVos family: If you’re ready to sell the Orlando Magic, sell it to somebody that’s gonna take it to the next level. That’s us.”

The Magic are owned by RDV Sports, a corporation set up by the late Richard DeVos when he purchased the team for $85 million in 1991. Devos’s son, Dan, is the current chairman of RDV Sports.

Forbes estimated the Magic’s net worth at $1.64 billion entering the 2021-22 season, making them the NBA’s 24th-most valuable franchise.

With the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic have selected Duke standout Paolo Banchero.

“When you’re playing poker, you don’t put your cards on the table, right?” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said regarding the surprise pick, according to team writer Dan Savage.

Banchero is the latest one-and-done prospect to come out of the Blue Devils’ program. The 6-foot-10 forward was the lead option of an explosive Duke offense, averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 boards, and 3.2 assists over 39 appearances last season. Banchero finished fourth in the ACC in free-throw attempts (188) and 10th in blocks (36).

His strong regular season earned him ACC Rookie of the Year honors and an All-ACC first-team nod. Banchero elevated his game in the NCAA Tournament, helping Duke earn another Final Four berth. The former five-star recruit posted 18.8 points on 50% shooting, including a sizzling 52.6% mark on nearly four triples per game.

Bio

Position: Forward
School: Duke
College experience: Freshman
Height: 6-foot-10
Weight: 250 lbs
Wingspan: 7-foot-1
Max vertical: N/A

Strengths

  • Mix of quickness and strength creates mismatches for opposing big men
  • Has assortment of back-to-the-basket moves
  • Finishes well through contact
  • Efficient mid-range scorer
  • Uses crafty footwork to create his own shot
  • Great passer for his size
  • Solid ball-handling skills allow him to initiate fast breaks or pick-and-roll

Weaknesses

  • Drives recklessly to rim at times
  • Defensive effort and focus fluctuate too often
  • Needs to improve off-hand finishing
  • Coughs up the rock frequently, registered fifth-most turnovers in ACC last season

College basketball season ended almost three months ago, the NBA draft lottery was more than a month ago and the draft itself is later this week.

Seems like the process should be winding down.

Orlando Magic President Jeff Weltman sees it differently.

“I tell you, it’s still early in the process,” Weltman said Monday.

Translated: The Magic haven’t decided yet what they’ll do on Thursday night, when the draft rolls around and they have the No. 1 pick. Other teams have called to gauge what the asking price would be if they want to trade for that selection, and the Magic have evaluated all the top candidates.

But Weltman sees no reason to decide anything before it’s absolutely necessary, especially given the opportunity that Orlando has by holding this No. 1 pick.

“Dialogue is always ongoing,” Weltman said. “But, most importantly, we get to do what we want. That’s the real benefit of having the No. 1 pick.”

The top candidates for the pick are well-known: Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr. worked out for Orlando earlier this month, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren met with the Magic for multiple days last week and Duke’s Paolo Banchero has been working out with former Magic guard Mike Miller.

Weltman wouldn’t say that those are the only three candidates Orlando would consider at No. 1.

“It’s confirmed that there are a lot of talented players at the top of this draft, that’s for sure,” Weltman said.

This is the fourth time that Orlando will be making the No. 1 pick. The Magic took Shaquille O’Neal with the top selection in 1992. Chris Webber was the No. 1 pick by Orlando in 1993, and he got traded that same night for Penny Hardaway and a package of future picks that were eventually turned into Vince Carter and, later, Miller. And in 2004, the Magic selected Dwight Howard with the first pick.

The No. 1 pick on Thursday will join a young core in Orlando that already includes 2017 top pick Markelle Fultz, a pair of top-eight picks from the 2021 draft in Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs, and Cole Anthony — the No. 15 pick in the 2020 draft.

Orlando also has the No. 6 picks from the 2017 and 2018 draft, Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba. It’s possible that when next season starts Orlando could have as many as six lottery picks, nine top-16 selections and 12 first-rounders on its roster.

This is all part of the challenge for the Magic — who also have the No. 32 and No. 35 picks this year — going into Thursday: Finding more youth that fits with the current core, finding ways to be better next season and sustainably better for years to come.

“We do want to get better but not at the expense of rushing back to mediocrity,” Weltman said. “And we do want to have something sustainable. But you have to elevate the standard to do that. You can’t just stay at the basement level, you know, interminably. So those are conversations that we’re having, which players do that for us.”

The Orlando Magic own the rights to the first overall selection in the 2022 NBA Draft after winning the lottery on Tuesday.

The Oklahoma City ThunderHouston RocketsSacramento Kings, and Detroit Pistons round out the top five. Sacramento moved up three spots after entering the evening with the seventh-best odds of winning the lottery.

Orlando’s last No. 1 overall selection came in 2004 when the team drafted Dwight Howard out of high school.

Both Houston and Detroit, who had the first- and third-best odds to win the lottery, respectively, fell two spots apiece.

Gonzaga standout Chet Holmgren, Auburn star Jabari Smith, and Duke forward Paolo Banchero form the projected top three for Orlando, Oklahoma City, and Houston to choose from. Any combination of Keegan MurrayShaedon Sharpe, and Jaden Ivey could come off the board somewhere in the top-five range, if not higher.

PICKTEAM
1Orlando Magic
2Oklahoma City Thunder
3Houston Rockets
4Sacramento Kings
5Detroit Pistons
6Indiana Pacers
7Portland Trail Blazers
8Los Angeles Lakers (pick goes to New Orleans Pelicans)
9San Antonio Spurs
10Washington Wizards
11New York Knicks
12Los Angeles Clippers (pick goes to Oklahoma City Thunder)
13Charlotte Hornets
14Cleveland Cavaliers

Indiana’s No. 6 selection will mark the Pacers’ highest draft choice since picking Rik Smits second overall in 1988.

The New Orleans Pelicans receive the Los Angeles Lakers’ No. 8 selection as part of the Anthony Davis blockbuster trade in 2019. Meanwhile, the Thunder will make their second lottery selection at No. 12 after receiving the rights to the pick in the Paul George trade with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2019.

New York will draft at No. 11, marking the 18th straight season in which the Knicks failed to improve their draft positioning through the lottery, courtesy of ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The 2022 NBA Draft will be held on June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The Orlando Magic officially ruled out Jonathan Isaac for the remainder of the 2021-22 campaign, president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman announced Tuesday.

Isaac hasn’t suited up since sustaining a torn left ACL in August 2020 against the Sacramento Kings.

“First and foremost, the care of our players will always be our top priority,” Weltman said. “We have to remember that Jonathan has missed essentially two years. While it continues to be a day-to-day process for him as he continues to strengthen and condition all aspects of his body, we feel we have reached a point where it would be prudent to say that he will not play this season.

“I understand this can be frustrating to our fans, but Jonathan has worked extremely hard, and he is eager to return to game action, which is why we must continue to manage his rehabilitation with the big picture in mind. Quite frankly, we are just out of time to ramp him up to play in games this season.”

Isaac was one of the NBA’s promising young forwards prior to his injury. The former No. 6 pick averaged 11.9 points, 6.8 boards, 2.3 blocks, and 1.6 steals over 34 appearances during the 2019-20 campaign. The year prior, he ranked 17th in the league in block percentage (4.1%) and 20th in total blocks (98).

The 24-year-old is in the first year of a four-year, $69.6-million contract extension signed in December 2020.

Orlando Magic center Wendell Carter agreed to a four-year, $50-million contract extension, his representatives told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Carter’s salary is fully guaranteed over the course of the deal, adds Charania. He’s the sixth player from the 2018 draft class to secure a contract extension.

Orlando acquired the Duke product from the Chicago Bulls last March. Carter performed well down the stretch for the Magic, averaging 11.7 points, 8.8 boards, and 0.8 blocks over 22 appearances during the 2020-21 campaign.

Chicago selected Carter seventh overall three years ago, but the big man struggled to remain healthy throughout his tenure in the Windy City.

Veteran sharpshooter JJ Redick announced his retirement Tuesday after 15 NBA seasons.

“After years of youth leagues, AAU, high school basketball, four years at Duke, and 15 years in the NBA, I’m retiring from the game I love so much,” Redick said on his “The Old Man and the Three” podcast.

Redick finished last season with the Dallas Mavericks. He made 13 appearances with the team following a mid-season trade from the New Orleans Pelicans.

“Going into the last season, I wanted it to be my last year but wasn’t sure how the season would play out,” Redick said. “It was difficult for a number of reasons: being injured, being away from my family, COVID protocols, and really truly not playing up to my standards.

“I would like to describe last season as a seven-month exercise in coming face to face with my own athletic mortality. And it was scary and confusing.”

The 37-year-old was named consensus Player of the Year in 2006 while at Duke, and he remains the Blue Devils’ all-time leading scorer. The Orlando Magic selected him with the 11th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft.

Redick enjoyed parts of seven seasons with the Magic before spells with the Milwaukee BucksLos Angeles ClippersPhiladelphia 76ers, Pelicans, and Mavericks. Redick’s teams qualified for the playoffs in 13 straight campaigns from 2007-19, and he finishes his professional career with a 41.5% mark from beyond the arc.

The Orlando Magic are hiring Dallas Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley to be their next head coach, the team announced Sunday.

Mosley’s contract is a four-year pact, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“We would like to welcome Jamahl and his family to the Magic family,” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said. “Within the NBA coaching community, Jamahl is considered a rising star. His coaching path is rooted in player development. He is a communicator and connector, and we look forward to him leading our group.”

Mosley served as an assistant under former Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle for the last seven seasons, holding the Mavericks’ defensive coordinator title since the start of the 2018-19 campaign. The 42-year-old has also been an assistant with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2010-14) and Denver Nuggets (2007-10). He’ll now be tasked with leading the Magic’s rebuild by helping develop young talents, including Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac.

Mosley replaces Steve Clifford as Orlando’s bench boss. Clifford coached the club for the last three seasons, helping it earn back-to-back playoff appearances in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

The Magic finished the 2020-21 campaign sitting 14th in the Eastern Conference with a 21-51 record.

Memphis bench boss Penny Hardaway emerged from his interview for the Orlando Magic‘s head coaching vacancy as a serious candidate, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Hardaway has spent the last three seasons at his alma mater, posting a 63-32 record. The Tigers led the NCAA in opponents’ field-goal percentage during the 2019-20 campaign and ranked fifth in the category this past season.

Memphis rewarded Hardaway in December with a five-year contract extension that runs through the 2025-26 campaign.

Orlando acquired Hardaway in a draft-day deal 28 years ago. The 49-year-old spent six of his 14 NBA seasons with the Magic, earning four All-Star appearances and three All-NBA selections.

The 1993 third overall pick averaged 19 points, 6.3 assists, 4.7 boards, and 1.9 steals over 369 games for Orlando.

Hardaway played a key role in helping the Magic reach their first NBA Finals during the 1994-95 campaign.

Terry Stotts and Becky Hammon are among the other names linked to Orlando since the club parted ways with Steve Clifford at the conclusion of the season.