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Commentary: Perfect Preseason for Orlando Magic

Jae Fortune

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Ok. Fine, **near* perfect.

Nevertheless, as an Orlando Magic fan, you have to be impressed with how this young, talented group handled the NBA preseason. In the preseason finale, the Magic snuffed out a fiery attack by the visiting Cavaliers, 114-108.

Our rookie star, Paolo Banchero led the way for the Magic with a 17-point performance, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. However, the line-up that ended up sealing the come-back win on Friday night didn’t feature number five. R.J. Hampton, Caleb Houstan Kevon Harris, Devin Cannady, and Admiral Schofield, entered in the fourth quarter to hold off an aggressive Cleveland team.


PRESEASON NOTES.

Last season, we were the youngest team in the NBA, and it still shows. Throughout all four games this preseason, we’ve come out strong, energetic and fast.

 

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T-ROSS: THE HERO WE NEED, AND DESERVE.

On a personal note, I think I’m finally ready to purchase a new Magic jersey. I know that sounds bad, but hear me out. We’ve seen plenty of the great players come to Orlando in recent years, but hardly ever any continuity.

Traditionally, Orlando receives a player that I’m excited about (ex: Vince Carter, Serge Ibaka, Victor Oladipo, etc.) and right as I’m about to go purchase a jersey – they’re gone. Traded, or allowed to walk away from the City Beautiful. Business is business, but how many times are we going to send the face of our franchise away? Or miss an opportunity to give a retiring fan favorite his flowers, and a final standing ovation for all the good memories (I’m looking at you, JJ.)

That being said: Terrance Ross, the eldest member of the Orlando Magic (31), and wily old veteran mentor for our exceedingly youthful cast of rising stars, should be protected at all costs. If not for his shooting, his presence in the locker room, or his amazing twitch streaming – then for being here, when we needed him. His leadership has been instrumental in our rotation, and team development. Give T-Ross his flowers.

 


 

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The Magic, who went 4-1 in the preseason with four consecutive wins, open the regular season against the Pistons Wednesday in Detroit. In fact, we won’t see the Magic in Amway Center until October, 22.

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Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic Linked to Career 38.5 3PT Shooter Player

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Malik Beasley

The Orlando Magic are one of the teams expected to pursue Malik Beasley once he hits the free agency market this July.

The Magic, who have already been linked to several incoming free agents with respectable shooting acumen, are reportedly among the teams showing some level of interest in Beasley.

Other teams linked to the sweet-shooting veterans are the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors.

“Houston has identified floor spacing and shooting as an area of need this offseason privately and publicly and have an interest in veteran sharpshooter Malik Beasley,” a source close to the situation told the New York Times.

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Beasley started 77 games for the Milwaukee Bucks this past season, converting 41.3 percent of his shots from 3-point distance. He’s a career 38.5 percent three-point shooter.

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Orlando Magic

Magic Have Interest in Sweet-Shooting Point Guard

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D'Angelo Russell

The Orlando Magic has reportedly shown interest in potential free agent guard D’Angelo Russell, the Athletic reported on Wednesday, May 21.

Russell, who can opt out of his $18.7 million player option with the Los Angeles Lakers, is expected to draw interest from teams looking to shore up their shooting in their backcourt.

The 28-year-old point guard averaged 18.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists in 32.7 minutes per game while shooting 45.6 FG% and 41.5 3PT% during the 2023-24 season.

His numbers dipped in the playoffs as he averaged 14.2 points on 38.4 FG% and 31.8 3PT% in the five-game series with the Denver Nuggets.

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The Magic direly need some reliable shooting in their lineup for next season after shooting 35.2% from deep in the regular-season.

Aside from Russell, the Magic are also rumored as a potential destination for Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson.

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Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic Linked to Big-Time Scorer in Free Agency

According to reputable NBA insider Ramona Shelburne, the Magic are one of the teams eyeing the service of NBA All-Star Paul George.

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Paul George

The offseason officially started for the Orlando Magic seconds after the final buzzer of their 94-106 Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. According to reputable NBA insider Ramona Shelburne, the Magic are one of the teams eyeing incoming free agent Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers.

“There’s two teams that are paying very close attention to Paul George: the Orlando Magic and the Philadelphia 76ers, because both of them have the money to throw at him and need a wing just like him, a veteran guy,” Shelburne said on “the Brian Windhorst & the Hoops Collective” podcast on May 1.

Sportrac projected the Magic to have a practical cap space of $19 million, but their maximum possible cap space could balloon to as high as $58 million if they forego their team options on Jonathan Isaac, Joe Ingles, and Moritz Wagner.

Despite turning 34 once the free agency window opens, George is expected to be a hot commodity on the market because of his reputation as a flat-out scorer and above-average wing defender. He’ll be looking for his final max-level deal of at least $45 million per year before he enters the twilight years of his career.

George averaged 22.6 points on 47.1 FG%, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game during the regular season with the Clippers. His scoring production dipped a bit during the six-game series against the Mavericks, putting up 19.5 points on 41.1 FG% and 36.7 3PT%.

NBA experts expect the Magic to bring over either a legitimate shooter or a scorer who will help address the lack of shooting on their roster. George, a career 38.5 3PT% shooter, would be a solid addition to a resurging team like the Magic.

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