Photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Magic have some money, not likely to spend it

Free agency is just about over with most of the teams with cap room having spent the majority of their space. The big free agents remaining are Greg Monroe and Eric Bledsoe. The fact they are restricted free agents have scared some teams away because it is believed the Suns and Pistons would match any offer for them.

Orlando was connected to both at one time or another, but that interest either was overstated or has waned as the team went through its rebuilding process.

In all, the Magic have made some major additions in the form of Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton, Devyn Marble (through the Draft), Evan Fournier (through trade), Willie Green (via waivers), Ben Gordon and Channing Frye (via free agency). The Magic are still expected to announce the signing of Luke Ridnour very soon to complete their free agency.

That is hardly a big splash considering the money the Magic had. Still, it was a bigger splash and a bigger spending splurge than the previous year when the big free agent signings were Jason Maxiell and Ronnie Price. This year, there are more veterans and role players that will be with the team past a year or so.

In all, the Magic have spent (not including Luke Ridnour who is expected to make somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.5 million annually) nearly $21 million on new acquisitions including rookies Aaron Gordon and Eflrid Payton and trade acquisition Evan Fournier. That is not insignificant.

However, that amount still has the Magic below the payroll floor by about $5 million as several salaries — including the amnestied Gilbert Arenas — come of the salary cap books (yes, the Magic are still paying Arenas, he and the team agreed to stretch the remainder of his contract over a longer period of time than the time his amnestied salary would count toward the floor).

To avoid the floor, the Magic would have to spend a little bit more. But with an already full roster, that seems very unlikely.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders explains:

The Orlando Magic have roughly $8.34 million in cap space and could free up an additional $2.81 million by renouncing the cap holds on E’Twaun Moore and the draft rights to Fran Vasquez. The Magic are roughly $5.66 million away from the NBA‘s required minimum salary of $56.759 million, although they have until the end of the season to meet that number. The Magic for the most part seem finished in free agency and are more likely to use their space later in the season given that they have basically 13 players under contract for the upcoming season.

This is not too surprising. It feels like the Magic are mostly done with free agency with a full roster even with the team well below the salary floor. The Magic were not expected to make a huge splash in free agency and go after any of the bigger names on the market despite their cap room. That might be coming up next summer or the summer after.

So hold on tight, Magic fans. Orlando is not quite ready to spend and take that last step into contention. Flexibility is still key. Orlando should have it entering this deadline or whenever something might come up.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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