The Orlando Magic are not expected to be too active in free agency. But ESPN.com reports the Magic may be in the running for at least one big name this July.
The Orlando Magic may try to get creative this offseason with their limited cap room and make a run for at least one big-name player. Chris Haynes of ESPN.com reports the Magic are among at least seven teams who will pursue Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala.
The Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, LA Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and Utah Jazz are also rumored to be chasing after the world champions’ Sixth Man. The thought being if teams cannot beat the Warriors’ top players, they can tear them down by poaching their supporting players.
Iguodala would make for an interesting addition.
Iguodala is nearing the end of his career at 33 years old. But he is still a jack of all trades that can help a young Magic team find their way. He averaged 7.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game for the Warriors last year. He shot 36.2 percent from beyond the arc while providing solid defense off the bench, entering the game for the Warriors’ vaunted Death Lineup.
The knee-jerk reaction is that signing Iguodala is a win-now move. But Iguodala’s experience would be invaluable to the young Magic team. He would be a great leader to teach the young Magic players how to be a pro and lead by example. A strong veteran presence is always needed in the locker room.
Iguodala was an All Star as recently as 2012, his final year with the 76ers, before he settled into his reserve role with the Warriors. His usage rate has steadily increased in each of his four years in Golden State. It is unclear if he could step back up to a higher-usage, starring player again. Especially at his age.
If the Magic are willing to make this bet, Iguodala will come with a heavy price tag.
Early talks had him rumored to be seeking a contract in the neighborhood of $20 million per year, according to Brian Botkin of CBS Sports. If this is the case, the Magic would have to make room for a cap hit of that size. The Warriors were hoping to get him back for $8-12 million per year, using Bird Rights to go over the cap and retain Kevin Durant, according to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News.
The Magic would have to make some moves to clear the cap room to sign Iguodala to that larger amount and even if he is looking for a contract starting at $12 million. How they would do so is unclear.
Signing Andre Iguodala is a bit of a long shot for the Magic. Especially with the other teams reportedly interested sitting much closer to the Playoff race.
One thing is for sure, the new front office is active and not content to think small. They are looking at all of their options to put the Magic in a strong position going forward.