As if we needed confirmation that the Magic were not going to be too active in free agency this summer, two preeminent scribes are putting the kabash (at least for now) on two favorite rumors of Magic fans.
First Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported the Magic are not as interested in Eric Bledsoe as some would have you believe:
Orlando’s interest in Eric Bledsoe has been so massively overstated. I think Orlando would get involved in a Kevin Love deal for themselves… not sure they would be brokers and I also doubt Orlando is paying Bledsoe’s asking price in a sign and trade either.
The big rumor last summer was the Magic were in discussions with the Clippers to swap Arron Afflalo for Eric Bledsoe. It proved only to be a rumor as the Magic passed on it and the Clippers sent Bledsoe to the Suns. Reports came out that the media reports overstated the Magic’s interest in the end.
Bledsoe is a restricted free agent this summer after a solid year with the Suns. He is a combo guard that can play some point guard and would fit well next to Victor Oladipo. But he is expected to demand a max salary.
Suns interested in Love deal w/best assets Dragic, Bledsoe & picks.NBA sources say it will take full max deal to control free agent Bledsoe.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 7, 2014
Seems a little ridiculous for a player who averaged 17.7 points and 5.5 assists per game in his first year as a full-time starter. He is a very promising young player, but not a max guy. He will get what the market will bear.
Lance Stephenson will also get what the market can bear. And Magic fans like the idea of adding his talent to the roster collection. He was nearly an All Star this year and might be the most attainable player on the market with LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony expected to stay put.
Stephenson is a 23-year-old, unrestricted free agent, do-everything shooting guard. That is going to command a lot of money in the market, even with his antics and distractions on the court. It seems hard to believe capped-out Indiana will be able to retain him.
Zach Lowe of Grantland wrote a very detailed scouting report on Lance Stephenson and what his free agency might mean and whether Stephenson will be worth the money teams throw at him. In the end he writes this on the Magic signing him, stating they are “Probably Out”:
Orlando: The Magic are rebuilding, and Stephenson could be the heir to Arron Afflalo as the shooting guard who rises up with the franchise. But the Magic are unusually concerned with gathering high-character guys, and Stephenson would be a gamble for them.
Those are some high quality rumors. Do not expect the Magic to go after these big-name free agents. They do not quite fit the roster and ethos the Magic are building, and they are probably outside the price range the Magic are looking to spend. Neither seems to be the kind of guy to build a roster around and that is the kind of money they will likely command.