This is a big season for the Orlando Magic in a number of ways.
The team is expected to take its first big steps up to the postseason this year. And, as Jamahl Mosley put it to Michael Scotto on the HoopsHype Podcast, there are several players on this year’s team who could perhaps take a claim at Most Improved Player in the NBA.
Despite seeing his raw numbers drop last year as he came off the bench for the first time in his career, he had a really strong season. Anthony averaged 13.0 points per game and 3.9 assists per game while shooting 45.4 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent from beyond the arc.
He finished his season playing some of the best basketball of his career. He averaged 14.9 points per game and 3.6 assists per game with shooting splits of 47.1/41.8/91.4. Anthony may have established himself as one of the best sixth men in the league.
That sets everything up for this next month when Anthony is extension-eligible before hitting restricted free agency at the end of the season. It has been something of some discussion among Magic fans what the Magic should pay to extend Anthony.
Cole Anthony faces extension talks this month as the Orlando Magic begin training camp. He is not here for speculative talk about it as one aggregator found out.
Everyone generally wants to keep Anthony around. He is an excellent scorer and nobody is a bigger cheerleader for his teammates than Anthony. He adds plenty of spice to the team and has a scorer’s attitude. It is hard not to like Anthony.
But figuring out the right amount for this team is certainly a big question. And the addition of Anthony Black in the draft has raised some questions.
Eric Pincus of Bleacher/Report tried to make a prediction on Anthony’s upcoming extension talks and did not get very much, simply predicting that if the Magic do extend Anthony it would likely be at something close to Markelle Fultz’s current contract of $17 million (Fultz has his own extension talks coming before this season before free agency in the summer). Otherwise, the team may look to deal him.
But a quote is getting plenty of buzz from his article. Pincus quotes an anonymous player agent who said:
"“I think they move Anthony, maybe even before the season. But I don’t think they extend him.”"
No mention of the agent’s affiliation to Anthony, to the Magic or to anyone else. Just (perhaps informed) speculation on Anthony’s market or a cursory look at the Magic’s roster.
As is always the case, the Magic’s front office tends to keep these kinds of things tightlipped. There is usually very little leaking out of Jeff Weltman’s front office. And certainly with contract negotiations with a player.
The first time we hear anything official is likely when something is done or the deadline has passed. This quote should not be taken with any credence or necessarily any credibility.
But, the aggregators grabbed it anyway. They took it as gospel and seemed to suggest the Orlando Magic were imminently trading Cole Anthony in the way the Indiana Pacers seem set to deal Buddy Hield.
Anthony said the only thing we can take as gospel in response to an irresponsible aggregation of this story:
If you have not signed up your kid for Cole Anthony’s basketball camp at UCF on Saturday, now is almost certainly the time. Because that is the only thing that feels certain or real about anything said Friday.
If you need more info, here is the official flyer — please note, the event is taking place Saturday (the tweet is from Sept. 2):
And it seems like promoting this event is the perfect response to unsubstantiated rumors and speculation.
Business is business. And the Magic will have to make a decision with Anthony just as Anthony will have to assess his market and figure out where the right place for him will be.
He has made it pretty clear that he views himself as a starter in this league. Whether he can find that role with the Magic is certainly an open question.
The Magic seem in no rush to make any changes to the roster ahead of training camp. They almost certainly will try to bring back Anthony before camp.
But if it reaches restricted free agency, it reaches restricted free agency. The restricted free agency market has been tight in recent years and Anthony certainly could play himself into a bigger contract, even if he re-ups with the Magic.
It certainly felt like a lot of what was stated in the Pincus article was a bit more speculative than reporting. And so all Anthony can do is be committed to his community.
That is the one thing nobody can doubt about Anthony. He has always bled blue (Carolina or Magic blue) and been all about his team and his city. Nobody is expecting less from Anthony this year.
We will just have to wait and see how the contract talks shake out.