NBA free agency opened up shop on the eastern side of the United States at 12:01 a.m. and shockwaves were sent throughout the league with verbal commitments being made left and right. The Orlando Magic had one priority heading into free agency and that was the re-signing of power forward Aaron Gordon, who is coming off his best year with the organization.
With money drying up everywhere around the NBA, Gordon and the Magic agreed to a 4-year, $84-million contract on Sunday. The forward is coming off a stellar season in which he posted averages of 17.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and one steal, while shooting 33.6 percent on 5.9 3-point attempts per contest.
Orlando has done a lot this off-season to solidify its front court situation, including drafting Mo Bamba in the NBA Draft. The Magic will likely be moving someone out, with several other bigs will now become expendable with the signing of Gordon and drafting of Bamba.
Including Gordon and Bamba, there’s last season’s draft pick Jonathan Isaac, Nikola Vucevic, Bismack Biyombo, and Khem Birch on Orlando’s roster.
Isaac played sparingly in his rookie season with the Magic, finding trouble to make the Magic’s roster and spending most of the 2017-2018 campaign with the Lakeland Magic, Orlando’s developmental team. Vucevic started at center for most of last season under the coaching of Frank Vogel. Now with Steve Clifford as the new lead man, Vucevic could see little to no time in the front court as Bamba would likely be the club’s center heading into 2018-2019.
Aaron Gordon signing back with the Magic brings a level of stability to the team and he becomes the centerpiece of Orlando’s potential turnaround under Clifford.
Orlando has lost one player from the end of the season roster, with Mario Hezonja signing a 1-year, $6.5-million deal with the New York Knicks on Sunday.