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Orlando Magic

Magic Outlast the Bulls in Overtime

Robert Brumfield

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Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic improved their record to 29-24 on Friday in a thriller at Kia Center. Third year forward Franz Wagner propelled the young Orlando squad with 36 points, highlighted by a flurry of clutch shots in the 4th quarter and overtime. Paolo Banchero added 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists while Cole Anthony shined off the bench with 14 points and 11 boards.

Franz set the tone for his performance the first time he handled the ball, easily backing down Demar DeRozan into the lane with a jump hook and the games first bucket. Chicago never had the lead at any time during the first half, unable to stifle the good ball movement from Orlando with the Magic holding a narrow 52-50 halftime edge.

Whatever Head Coach Billy Donovan said to his Bulls in the locker room during halftime worked. Chicago took their first lead at 11:37 of the 3rd quarter with an Alex Caruso three-pointer that began a 9-0 run. The Magic, through multiple rotations, looked sluggish while also allowing the Bulls extra possessions off of costly turnovers. Chicago extended it’s lead to 11 points near the end of the third quarter.

With 8:52 remaining in the final quarter, trailing by 7 points, it became “Wagner’s World” at Kia Center. Franz Wagner calmly drilled three-pointers on 3 straight possessions to take the lead back from Chicago while the ambience turned from shocked silence to deafening cheers from those in attendance. At no point did the young Orlando team panic or seem shaken. However, with the Magic clinging to a 3 point lead, tension returned when Chicago’s Demar DeRozan drove to the basket and drew a questionable foul resulting in a 3-point play that would send the game into overtime.

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Franz Wagner, seeing much tighter defense to begin overtime, bullied his way to the bucket, snagging his own missed shot for a close range put-back to strike first. The subsequent 6-0 Orlando run was enough to ultimately hold off the feisty  Bulls and secure the win. Orlando now sits firmly in 7th place, just a half game behind the 6th place Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Magic have won 5 of their last 6 games. Next up, the Oklahoma City Thunder come to Kia Center on Tuesday, February 13th, for a game that will also mark the retirement of Magic legend Shaquille O’Neal’s #32 jersey in what is sure to be a packed arena.

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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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