Last minute free agent bargains


It is August, we have nothing to write. And the Magic roster has 15 players on it, including Romero Osby who remains unsigned as a second round pick. If the Magic decide to sign him, the roster is full. The only other roster spot that could be made available is if the team buys out Hedo Turkoglu's contract (and its final $6 million guaranteed).

To put it simply, Orlando does not ahve the roster space to make any more moves in free agency. Victor Oladipo, Jason Maxiell and Ronnie Price will have to do for additions to this year's Magic's squad.

With training camp starting October 1, there are still a few free agents out there that could interest the Magic. Although that may not be enough for the Magic to let go of guys already on the roster — only Turkoglu and Kyle O'Quinn have unguaranteed contracts this season. But, Rob Hennigan is not one to look past an opportunity to make his team better.


Taking a look at the depth chart, where would the Magic want to look if they were:

Jameer NelsonArron AfflaloMaurice HarklessGlen DavisNikola Vucevic
E'Twaun MooreVictor OladipoHedo TurkogluTobias HarrisJason Maxiell
Ronnie PriceDoron Lamb Andrew NicholsonKyle O'Quinn

Now, if the Magic were to go after another player for training camp — and there is no indication at this point that they would — there are two areas of need (again, a relative term) for them to address.

The first, is small forward. There are only two small forwards on the roster. Sure, Arron Afflalo and Tobias Harris can both spend some time at small forward. But long term, neither projects to find much of their time at that position. It is not ideal for them to spend extended periods at that position.

Certainly when Hedo Turkoglu's future is established, the Magic will have to find a small forward to help spell Maurice Harkless or spell him using some combination of players

There are simply not many young small forward free agents that might be out there for the Magic to pick off. Xavier Henry was once a promising young player from Kansas for the Hornets and Grizzlies. He spend last year playing in the D-League where he played only one game for Iowa.

Henry's career so far has been a bitter disappointment.

A hybrid shooting guard like Andrew Goudelock might also be the kind of young player the Magic would want to develop. Goudelock played 51 games last year in the D-League averaging 21.1 points per game on 47.6 percent field goal percentage. Goudelock is only 6-foot-3 and so would not be able to play small forward unless the Magic go with a really small lineup. But the D-League's MVP figures to be able to crack an NBA roster somewhere.

The small forward options are limited if the Magic wanted to test free agency at some point to support the roster.

The other position many have clamored for is some reinforcements at point guard. Jameer Nelson and Ronnie Price are the only "true" point guards on the roster. The other guys who could play the position — Victor Oladipo, E'Twaun Moore and Doron Lamb — are more hybrid guys who are more scorers and shooting guards than point guards.

The desire to bring in a young point guard led to the confusion over the Ronnie Price signing. Price likely will remain the third-string guy.

After suggesting you read this really good Jonny Flynn article from Jonathan Abrams of Grantland, a few of you suggested the Magic take a flyer on the former top-10 pick. Flynn has some obvious limitations — that injured hip has hurt his already poor defense. But Flynn also seems like the exact kind of player the Magic would want to go after.

Again, at this point, there are not many point guards that the Magic could see developing into big parts of the future. Thus going after veterans willing to play for losing teams and mentor young players like Ronnie Price were ideal to fill this slot on the roster.

The best options at point guard on the market are Rodrigue Beaubois, Nolan Smith and Darius Morris.

This discussion might all be a moot point. The Magic already have 13 guaranteed contracts with Kyle O'Quinn set to get his contract guaranteed on opening night and Romero Osby remaining unsigned. Teams typically like to leave the final roster spot open in case of emergencies.

Of course, a young player could get an invite to training camp and wow the team like DeQuan Jones did last year and force the Magic to make a difficult decision about one of these guaranteed deals. Jones displaced Quentin Richardson, whom the Magic are still paying the final year of his contract.

There is no much to talk about right now, so the Magic are probably weighing all their options. That might include an addition via free agency.