RobHennigan052413

Magic potentially staring at max-level cap room

The Magic are in full rebuild mode. They have opted to eat a lot of salary — $19.4 million of dead-weight salary this year (not including $22 million owed to Gilbert Arenas, although as part of his buyout his salary is spread out over a longer period of time) with $10.4 million of dead-weight salary with Al Harrington and Glen Davis still on the books.

All this was done with the thought of allowing young players to develop and keeping costs low to restock the deck.

Rob Hennigan has said time and time again that the Magic will try to build through the draft. The odds of the team attacking free agency this summer (especially considering this weak class) is unlikely. Orlando though is getting ready to come into some serious cap room.

Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders estimates the Magic could have as much as $21.9 million in cap room this summer. That would be enough to go after a max-salary player if that is the direction Orlando wanted to go. It also means the Magic could take on a lot of salary in a trade.

The Magic will cross those roads when they get there.

Why so much cap room? The unguaranteed nature of Jameer Nelson, Kyle O'Quinn, Jason Maxiell and Ronnie Price's contracts help. So too the large amount of rookie contracts the Magic have on the books. Those cheap contracts are the best value in the game.

Orlando will likely fall into having more than $10 million in cap room this summer. But the team will likely eat it. The big free agent haul would likely come in 2015 and 2016. That should give the Magic time to figure out exactly what their puzzle looks like and how the pieces will need to fit thanks to this year's Draft and the potential two lottery picks Orlando will get to use. Remember too, Orlando has to consider Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic's upcoming restricted free agency.

There are big decisions coming and careful planning that has to be done. But the Magic appear to have a plan for how to attack the market. They are just biding their time.

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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