5 things we learned from Orlando Magic’s Summer League
Orlando Magic will have a battle for the last roster spots
When the Orlando Magic’s Summer League roster came out, it was admittedly not an impressive list. But the Magic know what they are doing. They found some quirky players who quickly endeared themselves to Magic fans by embracing the team’s overall culture and energy.
Still, they were there for a job interview and audition. They had to showcase how they fit into the team concept and whether they could play at an NBA level.
The Magic were probably in a poor position to make offers for Summer League players because they had virtually no roster spots to offer. The team hit 16 players after signing second-round pick Caleb Houstan to a reported four-year deal.
Houstan had a solid showing early in Summer League and the Magic made a long-term commitment to him, even if he still ends up spending some time with the Lakeland Magic this season.
That only increases the pressure on players to keep their roster spots and the pressure for players to make their mark for the last spots remaining — whether that is for a spot on the main roster or the last open two-way contract.
R.J. Hampton seemed to go back into flux because of his poor play throughout Summer League. He did not show the poise and composure you would expect from a rising third-year player as he struggled working on the ball. Hampton should not be in any danger to miss the roster but he did not secure a clear rotation spot like he probably wanted.
Devin Cannady struggled with his outside shot throughout Summer League too.
On a non-guaranteed contract, Cannady is probably most in danger to get demoted out of the main roster. He would be a good fit as a two-way contract having shown what he can do already at the NBA level and as a proven high-level G-League player.
But nothing is guaranteed. Cannady will have a lot to prove in training camp to have that breakthrough.
On the other end players like Tommy Kuhse and Justin James have put themselves in play to earn the Magic’s second two-way contract. Orlando seems locked into keeping Admiral Schofield in the other slot. But that might also be part of what gets sorted out in camp.
The point then is that camp is going to be competitive. Orlando wants to build a competitive environment where everyone is pushing each other. There are plenty of other position battles and pressure points to watch when the Magic reconvene in the fall.