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2017 Free Agency: Southeast Division, Orlando Magic

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With a brand new General Manager, the Orlando Magic are ready to begin a new era.

John Hammond, former GM of the Milwaukee Bucks, has a busy summer ahead of him. Hammond is known for swinging for the fences on draft night, and he did just that by selecting Florida State PF Jonathan Isaac sixth overall. Orlando has the cap space to acquire an established star, and should they add one to lead their young core of Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, and Nikola Vucevic, they could sneak into the playoffs next season.

With a potential superstar now in the fold for Orlando, Hammond will have to make decisions on whether to bring back the following players:

Jeff Green, (SF/PF, Unrestricted)

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Jeff Green is the most notable free agent the Magic have. This is fortunate for Orlando because they have the cap space to acquire an established star to lead their young core of Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, and Nikola Vucevic. Green was one of few veterans on the Magic this year. Green has gradually seen his playing time decrease since being traded from the Boston Celtics. In his one and only season with Orlando, Green averaged 9.2 points (39% FG, 28% 3Pt, 86% FT) and 3.1 rebounds over 22.2 minutes per game. While his free-throw percentage was a career-high, his field-goal and three-point percentages, points and minutes per game were all career-lows. At 30 years old, Green isn’t getting any younger, and may seek a short-term deal with a contending franchise.

Jodie Meeks (SG, Unrestricted)

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Battling injuries throughout the 2016-17 campaign, Meeks only appeared in 36 games for the Magic, averaging 9.1 points (40% FG, 41% 3Pt, 88% FT), 2.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 0.9 steals over 20.5 minutes per game. Interestingly enough, Meeks was drafted by Orlando’s new GM John Hammond back in Milwaukee in 2009. When healthy, Meeks can provide outside shooting that is so coveted in today’s NBA. His inability to stay healthy ultimately hurts his value, and will likely have to settle for a small contract.

Damjan Rudez (SF, Restricted)

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Orlando is Rudez’s third team in three NBA seasons, and being 31 with just garbage time on his resume, should draw no interest from any team around the league. Should he fail to receive any offers, Rudez will likely consider returning overseas.

 

 

 

About Eric Peterson

Eric is currently studying Sport Management at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Follow Eric on twitter @eric_peterson20

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