Former NBA champion could be a great fit with the Orlando Magic

The Magic are reportedly interested in stealing a defensive-minded guard away from a Western Conference contender.
Denver Nuggets v Orlando Magic
Denver Nuggets v Orlando Magic / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages

With Malik Monk returning to the Sacramento Kings, the Magic already lost out on one free-agency target before they even got a chance to officially pursue him. There are other options, however. The Magic are continuously linked to Klay Thompson and Paul George, and D'Angelo Russell is someone who could provide a very similar skill set to Malik Monk. 

Another viable option is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope if he declines his player option with the Denver Nuggets and hits the free agency market. If that happens, the Magic definitely won't be the only team pursuing the former NBA champion. Any team would love to have a high-level role player like Caldwell-Pope. 

Yahoo Sports' Jake Fisher suggested that the Magic make a play for the veteran and offer him a two-year $45 million deal similar to the one Bruce Brown signed with the Indiana Pacers last summer. The Nuggets already lost one important role player that way, and the Magic could swoop in and take a second. 

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would be a great fit with the Magic

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has many qualities that make him a sought-after player in the NBA. One is his championship experience and ability to play his role at a high level. Both are things the Magic should value. 

There is much more to Caldwell-Pope than just that, however. He could be a great role player in Orlando and maybe round out the starting lineup. The Magic struggled to space the floor last season, which hurt their offensive production immensely. Caldwell-Pope has shot 39 percent or better from three as a starter four seasons in a row now. 

He could space the floor and provide some double-digit scoring around Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner without taking the ball out of their hands too much. In his first season with the Nuggets—which was the team's championship season—the shooting guard only averaged 8.3 field goal attempts per game. Nevertheless, he was a crucial part of Denver's success. 

One Magic issue Caldwell-Pope doesn't address much is playmaking, as he averages roughly two assists per game for his career. He makes up for that with other qualities the Magic value, however. 

Caldwell-Pope is a great perimeter defender. Pairing him with Jalen Suggs would make for a ferocious defensive backcourt. Defense is something the Magic obviously value. It is what they built their identity and success on. Caldwell-Pope's ability to fit that identity sets him apart from guards available in free agency, like D'Angelo Russell or Tyus Jones. 

If Caldwell-Pope declines his player option—which he is expected to do right now—and can be lured away from the Nuggets, the Magic should go after him.