The Orlando Magic appear to have some hope to separate itself from the low depths the franchise has been treading at for years. The young core featuring rookie of the year frontrunner Paolo Banchero and standout sophomore Franz Wagner gives fans something to get excited about, unlike terrible free agent signings of yore.
You would think with no state income tax and the allure of theme parks for players’ family members, it would be easy to entice players to join the team. That helped attract former All-Stars in Horace Grant and Rashard Lewis to put the team over the top to contention in the past or helped them welcome home Tracy McGrady to keep the team relevant.
But especially recently, that has not proven to be the case. Free agency has not been nearly the tool to help the Magic that they hoped.
Instead, the Magic have struggled to attract the kind of difference-makers that would set the franchise on a course toward championship success, losing both times they made the NBA Finals. Other times, they have landed that player, only for it to backfire spectacularly.
As the Orlando Magic try building a postseason contender, let’s look at some of their worst free agent signings in franchise history.
There are only three ways for teams to acquire players: draft them, trade for them or pick them up in free agency. The latter is often the most memorable, as it is the one that makes the biggest splash in the newspapers and on local radio, not to mention social media these days.
During the franchise’s relatively brief existence, the team has taken many swings at transforming the team with free agents. Some have worked out, but there have been some difficult failures that remain difficult for the team’s fans to recall years and even decades later.
Disagree with any of the picks? Feel free to comment with your own list of bad Magic signings.
Here are the 10 worst free agent signings in franchise history.