5 storylines to watch for Orlando Magic’s Summer League
Who grabs the final roster spots?
Typically when teams enter Summer League — especially young teams like the Orlando Magic still are — there are at least a few questions about who fills the final roster spots. There are still a few roster spots left open from free agency and the team is left figuring out what they are going to do with them.
That is not the case for the Magic.
In fact, they had to cut Bol Bol because their roster was too full after they signed Joe Ingles (made official Friday) and re-signed Moe Wagner (still not official as of this writing). The team is arguably too loaded at guard too. But that is a problem for training camp to resolve.
That means there is not a lot of space for the Magic’s Summer Leaguers to fight for with the team that signed them.
The only roster spots left open are the final two two-way spots with the Magic holding onto Kevon Harris for a second year with the two-way opportunity and after the team waived Jay Scrubb surprisingly in June.
Orlando is certainly not limited to the players on its own roster, but that is where we will limit our attention. So what are the Magic looking for in their two-way contracts?
The Magic typically like to go with more veteran G-League players in their two-way contracts. Those players are usually more ready to contribute to the NBA when their numbers is called.
Figuring out who on this roster stands out is going to be the battle. And that is not easy at least through the early days of practice as the Magic look to fill out this team and eventually their main and G-League rosters.
"“We have great guys, high energy, positive attitude, great effort,” Magic Summer League coach Dylan Murphy said after practice Friday. “The care factor is really high with this group. I’m really excited to see them bring out on the court [Saturday].”"
D.J. Wilson figures to get a lot of playing time for the Summer Leauge roster and would be a great candidate. But because he already has five years in the league, he is ineligible for a two-way contract.
Quinndary Weatherspoon is a potential candidate that fits this criteria. He has had a few cups of coffee in the NBA — playing 42 total games with the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors in three seasons — but has not been able to stick.
He is not experienced in the G-League (just two total games) and played in China last year, but he has some NBA experience that could translate and give the Magic what they need.
Then again, he is a guard. And that is the last thing the Magic need.
If Orlando has any serious holes on the roster it is at power forward and center. The Magic probably need to be strategic with these two-way spots and give them to players they may need to turn to in an emergency at these spots.
Unfortunately, this is a roster that is short on size and so the players to have focus on to fill this specific need is not clear.
There is, of course, 7-foot-3 center Kai Sotto. We will talk more about him in the next slide. But he carries the hopes of a nation on his shoulders. He has the skills though to stand out.
Harvard center Robert Baker II will get some looks at center in the week too. He averaged 10.1 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game last year for the Lakeland Magic as their starting center. He struggled with his shot around the basket though.
Illinois forward Malcolm Hill has tallied 24 total games with the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls during the past two seasons. He spent last year with the Windy City Bulls and Birmingham Squadron averaging 15.3 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game while shooting 36.8 percent from beyond the arc on 6.2 attempts per game.
He is a bit undersized at 6-foot-6 and plays more small forward and guard rather than power forward.
If the Magic are only looking at players on their roster, they could look to bolster their guard ranks.
Texas A&M guard Dexter Dennis averaged only 9.5 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game. But he plays bigger than his 6-foot-5 size. He is known as a solid defender and could give the Magic another tenacious perimeter defender. Although his shooting leaves something to be desired.
If Orlando wants to bolster its shooting, Drake Jeffries should be someone the team looks at too. The former Wyoming guard signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Magic in training camp.
He had limited time in the G-League, averaging 5.8 points per game and hitting 33.6 percent of his shots from the outside. He averaged 10.3 points per game and shot 40.9 percent from beyond the arc in his sophomore year in 2022.
If the Magic keep their defensive bent, they could look to Au’Diese Toney. The former Arkansas guard made 28 appearances and 15 starts for the Lakeland Magic last year, averaging 8.5 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting 38.0 percent from deep on limited attempts (just 1.8 per game).
This is, admittedly, not a well-put-together team. There are a lot of guard options and this team is going to play fairly small throughout the course of the Summer League.
It appears everyone caught wind the Magic were going to have a full roster. And so Orlando is leaning a lot on G-League holdovers as they look to fill these final spots.