Orlando Magic raised their ceiling with addition of Caldwell-Pope

The Orlando Magic have added a championship-level starter to their rotation and raised the ceiling on their expectations in 2025.
Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Four
Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Four / David Berding/GettyImages

The Orlando Magic made a solid business decision.

The Magic signed former Denver Nugget wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a $66 million deal. Caldwell-Pope is an NBA champion, and the Magic have added an elite 3-and-D type of starter to improve the team while staying largely under the radar.

This is huge news for fans in Central Florida. The addition of a veteran player who has won at the highest level makes the Magic more attractive than they were going into last year. It makes them a viable team with their young stars improving from a good offseason.

So much so that the Magic will be one of the teams in the Eastern Conference favored to make the playoffs. Caldwell-Pope raises their ceiling to another level, right below teams like the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Indiana Pacers. At worse the Magic should finish next season as a top-six seed when all is said and done in 2025.

But more importantly, it shows Magic fans that this organization is trying to put the right pieces around their superstar, Paolo Banchero—A guy who is very pleased about the addition of a championship defender and three-point sniper. He is now in a position to make this team a true contender in the Eastern Conference with Caldwell-Pope's arrival.

Caldwell-Pope should be able to fit right in with the Magic

Caldwell-Pope fits perfectly into Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosely's game plan. He seems to be the perfect role player for his system because he is unselfish and has shown that he can take a lesser role and still have success on the court. Mosely will love his defensive prowess to have alongside Jalen Suggs. The duo could morph into the best defensive backcourt in the league if they can play well off of each other.

More than likely, Mosely will use Caldwell-Pope the same way he used Gary Harris at the end of the year when he was starting. That is a huge upgrade for the Magic's starting five because the organization is ultimately replacing him with a guy who has won a championship.

Not only that, Caldwell-Pope has proven to be able to play with a superstar in Nikola Jokic. Jokic and Banchero play different games, but the notion is still the same when it comes to who leads and who supports the leader. That could potentially pay off for the Magic because Caldwell-Pope has also played in a starting lineup with LeBron James. This guy has won championships with two of the best players of this generation, and it looks like he's trying to add a younger name to the list.

Paolo Banchero's idol is LeBron James, and his game is very similar. Caldwell-Pope shouldn't have any problem getting adjusted to the Magic's way of doing things around the building. One of the reasons he signed with the Magic is because he knows that Banchero is the truth and a player who he could potentially win his next championship with.

This move definitely puts the Magic closer to the championship contention conversation. However, the team will need to make a move for a veteran defensive-minded 3-and-D type of center to finish the rebuild. It would've been nice to see Aaron Gordon make the flight with Caldwell-Pope. He would be the perfect center to put alongside Banchero. And it would make a nice story as well.

But the organization was only able to land Caldwell-Pope at the moment. There is more to see from this NBA free agency, and we will see if the Magic are going to go after a center with these qualities to add to the Caldwell-Pope addition.