Orlando Magic offseason improvements will start with their own free agents

The Orlando Magic are finishing the season with the same group that started the year. They likely will not start next year with the same roster. And their decisions on how to evolve and grow will start with their own free agents.

Orlando Magic v Chicago Bulls
Orlando Magic v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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What the Orlando Magic will do with their free agents

Joe Ingles (Team Option)

Joe Ingles has been one of the vocal leaders of the team since he signed this summer. He rallies around the group and has bought into the Magic playoff push.

He has seen a decrease in his minutes and points per game this season but is still the team's best three-point shooter at 41.5 percent. He is eighth on the team in three-point attempts per game and is barely ahead of Caleb Houstan in minutes per contest.

The Magic are 29th in three-point attempts this season. It would be great if the team could get Ingles more open opportunities behind the arc. He is shooting a career-low 2.6 threes per game.

Only three years ago, Ingles was shooting 6.1 per game at a 45.1 percent clip. Orlando could certainly use that type of production from their seasoned vet.

One way Ingles separates himself is his ability to distribute the basketball. He is fifth on the team in assists per gae and finds a way to get his teammates involved. Ingles almost plays in slow motion but can shoot and pass over the top of the defense with his 6-foot-9 build.

His defense is easily the worst on the team and this correlates with how little he has played in coach Jamahl Mosley's system. Ingles never does more than what he is capable of doing. But the Magic have been careful with his minutes.

The Magic are leaning on their defense this season. They value versatility. And while Ingles has been effective in his limited minutes, that may mean he is not a long-term option for them.

Ingles has had his moments of offensive perfection facilitating the pick-and-roll and knocking down the long ball. He can fit with any unit on the court and help with the Magic's offense.

Ingles has not been the same player that he was in Utah since he tore his ACL in 2022. His former defensive prowess as a physical, trash-talking Aussie cannot be replicated due to his body's limitations at 36 years old.

Regardless of his defense, he is a valuable asset for the Magic. His camaraderie among the roster and his chattiness on the court with opposing teams give Orlando some added swagger. He is letting other teams know that the team has arrived and it is not going to be easy playing in the Kia Center moving forward.

Ingles understands his assignment. He is a stretch shooter who can facilitate the offense as a creator for the second unit. He can spot up and command help defense when sharing the court with Franz Wagner or Paolo Banchero.

Next year he will be playing his 10th season at age 37. He has a team option of $11 million where the team can move on from his contract for more cap space.

That is not a ton of the cap. With much of the roster set and seven return rotational players plus Jett Howard eager to fight for minutes, it will be harder to find quality minutes for Ingles.

But the Magic could find Ingles' leadership, floor spacing, and offensive facilitating well worth retaining for another season.

The Magic are on the brink of becoming one of the Eastern Conference's elite teams and need to manage their roster effectively. If the team feels they can upgrade Ingles' position in a major way in the free agent market, then they have to.

It is then fairly uncertain whether the Magic pick up Ingles' option.