The Orlando Magic continue to explore options to improve their roster. They reportedly met with LA Clippers center Marreese Speights.
The Orlando Magic have a nearly full roster with 11 guaranteed contracts heading to camp and two more likely heading to camp. That does not add in second-round pick Wesley Iwundu who has yet to sign his rookie contract yet. The team can carry only 15 players on the roster total.
The Magic roster may not be complete — there are still some glaring holes — but it is nearly full.
After the Magic signed Jonathon Simmons and Shelvin Mack, the team had about $2 million in cap room left — plus their $4.3 million room mid-level exception. There was still some room to make some moves.
And, as president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said, the team would continue exploring options to add shooting.
That consideration has centered on a center . . . who can shoot.
Speights certainly is an intriguing player to add to fill a few needs for the team.
The 6-foot-10 center averaged 8.7 points per game on 53.9 percent effective field goal percentage for the Clippers last year. He played in all 82 games and has been fairly durable throughout his career.
More importantly for a shooting-starved Magic team, Speights shot 37.2 percent from beyond the arc last year after shooting 38.7 percent the year before. Speights can stretch the floor as a center out to the 3-point line.
Orlando needs that shooting skill for sure, although Speights is not a traditional shooter.
In any case, the Magic could also use some more help in the post. Their current depth chart would have Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic starting with Jonathan Isaac and Bismack Biyombo playing off the bench. If the Magic have any intention of playing Isaac at the 3 or playing Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon together, they might need a third post player.
Orlando reportedly was helping Khem Birch get a buyout from Olympiacos with the intention of adding the young forward to the roster to fill this need.
It is not clear how serious or how far along the Magic’s interest might be. For now, all that is reported is the two sides met.
Speights has struggled to garner much interest despite his unique skills and 3-point shooting from the center position. He had a solid year last year with the Clippers. He would seemingly be worth keeping in a rotation for some team somewhere.
Speights is not the most mobile big, but he is a more than capable shooter and rebounder. He averaged 4.5 rebounds per game last year in 15.7 minutes per game.
He has struggled to get his pay day in the NBA. At this point, he might have to take whatever the Magic can offer him.
And for Orlando, the team is not likely offering more than a one-year deal — or a one-year deal with a non-guaranteed second year similar to Shelvin Mack.
The Magic are indeed continuing to explore ways to improve their roster. Only time will tell if this is the direction the team opts to go.