3 free agents the Orlando Magic should consider chasing

Mitchell Robinson could be a steal for the Orlando Magic if he enters free agency. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mitchell Robinson could be a steal for the Orlando Magic if he enters free agency. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic will never be a free agent destination for the tops guys. Especially at the beginning of a rebuild.

This makes the offseason a little less fun in markets such as Orlando.

But free agency is still important. If the Magic want to acquire a star, they will need to be acquired through the draft or trade for a disgruntled superstar.

While they will always be looking for talent via the draft, this is not time for the Magic to be in the trade market for a disgruntled star. The Magic front office does not want to call this a rebuild because they do still have some pieces, but it is a rebuild.

And the team will need the patience to supplement their roster. Orlando is going to be casting for small fish in free agency.

The Orlando Magic have a big decision to make on draft night. After that, they must supplement their roster through free agency to restart right.

Orlando will have a little bit of cap room, but not enough to make a significant bite. The team will have roughly $7-8 million in room plus the $4-million room exception to use as things stand now. The $17-million trade exception also sits in their back pocket.

Orlando is not going to be standing completely still.

But they will still need to make sure they supplement the roster. And free agency will still be a game the team needs to play to foster the right growth, development and support for a young roster.

The key to this summer’s free agency period will be acquiring talent that is a good fit for where the team is. That might mean taking a chance on a reclamation project or overpaying for a veteran to give guidance to the roster.

A great example of what the Magic should be doing is something similar to the rebuild of the Phoenix Suns.

For a few years, they just kept acquiring talent and continued to show improvement. This left them the ability to attract free agents but also have the assets to acquire Chris Paul in a trade while still not leaving the cupboards bare.

Orlando is still at the beginning stages. And their fortunes could well change with this week’s NBA Draft Lottery.

With that being a great model for the Magic to follow, let’s take a look at three options for this offseason.

Mitchell Robinson

The Orlando Magic have a nice collection of young guards and wings who can score the ball and who would make a center like Mitchell Robinson a nice fit for the Magic and their timeline.

He is a guy who will protect that rim and create extra possessions for the team. But offensively the team does not have to run plays for him.

Robinson averaged 8.3 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game to go with 1.5 blocks per game in just 33 games as he dealt with injuries this season. He started in 29 of 31 games he played but missed the entire playoffs for the New York Knicks last year. The Knicks hold a team option on him this season.

He will get most of his points running the floor or on second-chance opportunities.  He is very efficient as he does his work in the paint and on the break shooting 65-percent from the field last season. He also gives you 8 rebounds and impressive 1.5 blocks per game in only 28 minutes per game.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

Robinson has a great shot-blocking ability and has wracked up his highlights. But there are still questions about his defensive discipline. He has been in and out of the Knicks rotation in his three years. He could be someone who needs a new environment.

This would be a bigger swing for the Magic. And it feels unlikely the Knicks would decline a team option for Robinson at $1.8 million unless they need to clear that room for a bigger free agent.

Is Mitchell Robinson good insurance if the Magic do not draft Evan Mobley or if they are not sold on Wendell Carter or Mohamed Bamba long-term? How much and how long would the Magic really spend?

That is a fair question to ask if they target a free agent center with so much upside like Robinson.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is coming off a down a year, but he is a versatile forward who would be a nice fit on the Orlando Magic bench.

He went unsigned last year in free agency and ended up with the Portland Trail Blazers. He averaged only 2.5 points per game this year in 9.7 minutes per game in 11 appearances. Hollis-Jefferson still managed 7.2 minutes per game in five playoff games for the Blazers this year.

His best season came in 2018 with the Brooklyn Nets where he averaged 13.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He is a decent defender and if he can get around 20 minutes per game he can give them some nice production off the bench.

He will be able to be acquired at a very reasonable price — likely the minimum — and will be looking to revive his career as a former first-round pick.

Avery Bradley

Avery Bradley is in a little different situation than the first two guys. He is a veteran guard who could provide a lot of leadership to a very young Orlando Magic backcourt.

He opted out this season due to COVID concerns but has shown throughout his career to be a great defender who can provide an example to Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony and R.J. Hampton how to be pro.

What may be the biggest upside to an Avery Bradley signing is the fact he is the kind of player that contenders are looking to acquire at the trade deadline which will lead to the Magic acquiring more young talent and draft picks. That is likely where Bradley ends up in free agency though. The Magic are probably not in the running for a player like Bradley looking to latch on with a contender.

The overall theme for the Magic this season should be acquiring as much talent as they possibly can and build from there.  The Draft will be the primary method to do so.

The team should be looking to mine free agency for undervalued players who can best support the young players n the team.

Next. Evaluations: Orlando Magic had opportunity to spare. dark

We have seen many times in the past few seasons that is the quickest way to make a return to the playoffs and these three can help.