5 questions for the Orlando Magic entering free agency
What will the Orlando Magic do with Gary Harris?
The first big decision for the Orlando Magic will come on June 29 when Admiral Schofield and Michael Carter-Williams can have their contracts fully guaranteed. Those two decisions feel fairly simple. It is not likely either will be back next season.
The next big decision comes on June 30. That is when Gary Harris, Bol Bol and Markelle Fultz can have their contracts fully guaranteed for the 2024 season. Jonathan Isaac’s guarantee date comes Jan. 10.
All four of those players seem likely to remain in Magic uniforms. Still, there is always that off chance the Magic decide to go in a different direction.
Keeping Fultz, despite the new glut of guards, feels like a sure thing. Harris though has always had a bit of mystery about him. There are at least a few teams already circling to try to grab Harris should the Magic let him go.
Why would the Magic let go of the final $13 million of his contract? Well, that would be a sure sign the team is going for some big fish in free agency. Eliminating Harris’ contract would take the Magic’s projected cap room from $23.9 million to $36.9 million.
There really are no players worth that much — not even James Harden, who is probably looking for a salary above that space — especially for where the Magic are sitting developmentally.
The truth is too that Harris is too valuable as a trade chip simply to let loose into free agency. Whether the Magic might look to trade him this offseason as a way to ease their guard and wing logjam or wait for the trade deadline, there will inevitably be a market for Harris.
The Magic’s guard logjam might also be insurance for Harris, who has played more than 60 games just three times in his nine-year career and cleared 70 games just once.
Harris may not be long for his time with the Magic. He still serves a very valuable role as the team’s best shooter — 43.1 percent from deep last year on a shockingly low volume of 4.5 attempts per game — and one of the few veteran players on the team with playoff experience.
Keeping Harris this offseason seems like a simple decision. The Magic should be able to accomplish its free-agent goals without letting him go.