The Magic announced Thursday that they have signed second round pick Kyle O’Quinn. Terms of the deal were not officially released, but O’Quinn’s agent told Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News that it is a three-year deal worth $2.5 million. Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel confirmed the deal, reporting the first year is the only guaranteed year at just less than $800,000. The Magic hold team options on the final two years of the deal.
Just about everyone you talk to has been ecstatic about O’Quinn joining the Magic after the way he played and carried himself during the Summer League back in July.
First off, O’Quinn was very excited and humbled by the opportunity as he described to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel in a phone interview Wednesday (see the link above). O’Quinn’s agent, Alberto Ebanks, called it a a great “New York story” for the Queens native.
That story is probably why fans are so much in favor of signing O’Quinn.
O’Quinn was an unheralded recruit coming out of Queens, N.Y. and took root at Nofolk State. He averaged a double double the last two years and showed steady improvement both offensively and defensively in his four years at Norfolk State. He was instrumental — scoring 26 points and grabbing 14 rebounds — in a second round upset of second-seeded Missouri this past year. He then went to the Portsmouth Invitational and won the MVP for the week of games involving college seniors.
That did not help him climb many draft boards. He ended up getting selected with the 49th pick and wowed many at the AirTran Airways Pro Summer League. In the five games played at the Amway Center practice court, O’Quinn averaged 8.8 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game. But that hardly described his impact. He was a rough defender and did not back down from anyone. He famously went toe to toe with top 10 pick Andre Drummond and made the promising young center seemingly disappear.
Coaches, scouts and fans came away extremely impressed with O’Quinn and his effort and energy in each game. Magic fans were pretty restless waiting for them to finalize this deal.
They finally did. And the reaction is universal excitement.
Of course, expectation does not equal results. This Magic roster is still being peaced together and O’Quinn has a lot of improving to do to crack the rotation. At center the Magic have Dwight Howard (for the moment) and Gustavo Ayon. Glen Davis and Andrew Nicholson man the power forward position. So the question is where O’Quinn would fit in. He certainly can. O’Quinn showed himself to be someone dedicated to giving his all on the floor and working hard. He will have to continue to do so if he wants to get a roster spot.
Right now though Orlando is trying to amass talent. The Magic clearly like O’Quinn. And so does the rest of the Magic nation.