3 Orlando Magic players who are expendable, 3 the team can't afford to trade
Can't Afford to Lose: Joe Ingles
When the Orlando Magic signed Joe Ingles this offseason, nobody knew what to make of it. He signed a two-year deal worth $22 million. And even with the team having an out with a team option for the second season, it felt like an overpay.
His slow start with his shooting as he adjusted to his new team heightened some of his concerns. And even now his impact is not so clear statistically.
Still, Ingles has been one of the most impactful players on this Magic team. His contributions and veteran poise have been invaluable to the team. And the numbers back up that Ingles simply makes everyone better.
The joke among Magic fans this year has been: If a lineup needs to be fixed, put Ingles in it.
There is a lot of statistical truth to that too. The Magic have a +10.7 net rating with Ingles on the floor including a team-best 120.3 offensive rating. Orlando has a team-worst -0.1 net rating and 107.1 offensive rating with Ingles off the floor.
This is pretty incredible for a player who scores only 4.8 points per game and 3.5 assists per game. He is shooting only 40.9 percent but 40.0 percent from three (and 62.5 percent of his shots are 3-pointers).
That really does not hit at his impact for the Magic though.
Ingles is essentially the team's point guard with their now-vaunted second unit. He organizes the team and gets everyone going to the right spots.
That does not even get into the attitude and swagger he gives the team with his constant talking and celebration for big plays. Ingles has bravado and the Magic feed off that energy as much as anything.
It almost feels certain Ingles will get that second year picked up. It is hard to imagine the Magic have this kind of success without him -- veteran depth was certainly something the team missed last year and Ingles has filled that role to a tee.
Now feeling healthy after his ACL injury in the 2022 season, Ingles is looking like he did with the Utah Jazz and making a very real impact for the Magic. One that they would not otherwise be able to replace.