3 players the Orlando Magic could target with a third two-way contract

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Michael Carter-Williams, Orlando Magic
Michael Carter-Williams had his offensive struggles this weekend in the Orlando Magic’s preseason openers. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The NBA has discussed adding a third two-way slot to help teams through the pandemic season. While the Magic have not been as hampered by COVID-19, the additional two-way could prove to be quite useful.

After a hot start, the Orlando Magic have quickly fallen to below .500.

With Evan Fournier out with back spasms for the past eight games, Markelle Fultz out with a torn ACL and Michael Carter-Williams out with a foot sprain, the Magic’s roster is starting to look thin.

The team is hopeful that Fournier and Carter-Williams’ return is coming soon. There is some light at the end of the tunnel so long as the Magic can keep themselves afloat.

The Magic are now ranked 22nd in defensive rating and an even worse 26th in offensive rating. The once capable three-point shooting team has now dropped to the worst in the league at 31.8 percent.

It is clear the Magic are in dire need of help. And while Fournier and Carter-Williams’ return should alleviate some of the issues they are facing, it may not be enough. The team will still be down a point guard and relying on either Michael Carter-Williams or Cole Anthony to lead the team.

Injuries have significantly hampered their progress. Fortunately, the Magic have not been significantly impacted by COVID-19 — Mohamed Bamba has missed the road trip because of contact tracing from someone outside the team and the team had a game postponed because the Boston Celtics did not have enough players to field a legal team.

The league has not been so lucky with more than a dozen games already postponed and growing. The league is scrambling to keep its season afloat.

In reaction to the spread of the virus, the NBA has discussed adding a third two-way contact slot to give teams another option. It is a move that several coaches have favored.

With seven of the 17 players on the roster injured, there are not many options for Steve Clifford to pick from.

One of the Magic’s two-way players, Jordan Bone, has played more than 20 minutes in the past three games. While he has shown effort on the defensive end, he is only shooting 26.3 percent from three, limiting his impact.

Aaron Gordon has also seen an expanded playmaking role by default to Markelle Fultz, Evan Fournier and Michael Carter-Williams being out. Gordon totaled eight assists against the Milwaukee Bucks and six against the new-look Brooklyn Nets.

Cole Anthony has also been asked to step up and while he has had several rookie moments, he has been able to provide substantial value on multiple occasions.

Both have played well to a certain extent, but adding another player could lighten the playmaking and scoring load on the two but also lighten the load for Nikola Vucevic who is amidst a career season.

With that being said, the Magic would rely on the two-way contract to add another player. Or, if they decide to cut a player to make space for a free agent, the Magic could look towards veterans to fill the gap.