Pros and cons of the Magic picking up Joe Ingles’ team option this summer

Joe Ingles was a valuable veteran for the Orlando Magic last year. But with tons of cap room, a young roster, and a vision for their future, the Magic have to ask themselves if they should keep Ingles for the second year of his contract.
Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Five
Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Five / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Every team needs veteran experience and leadership, especially a team as young as the Orlando Magic. As the only player on the roster who was older than 30 in the 2024 season, Joe Ingles took on that role in Orlando. 

Now, the Magic have a decision to make on Ingles' future with the team, as he has an $11 million team option for the 2025 season. The Magic are one of few playoff teams who can make significant moves to improve the roster in free agency or on the trade market this summer. 

The front office has plenty of work to do, and while Ingles might not be a priority, this will be an important decision. So, let's look at the pros and cons of the Magic picking up Ingles' team option this offseason. 


Joe Ingles' biggest asset at this point in his career is his experience. The veteran has been in the league since 2014 and played in seven postseason runs with the Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic. The rest of the Magic have very little playoff experience and could still learn plenty from Ingles. 

On the court, Ingles’ impact is not nearly as big, but he has some helpful skills. For one, he is a solid playmaker. During the regular season, he averaged 3 assists per game which was more than any of the Magic’s point guards. 

Ingles is also a capable and respected three-point shooter, hitting 43.5 percent of his threes this season. The Magic do not have many of those and thus struggled to stretch the floor. Even at age 36, you can usually count on Ingles to hit some threes when he steps on the court. 


Every player declines eventually when they get older. Playing in 68 NBA games at 36 years is pretty impressive, but Ingles did not produce much when he stepped onto the court. Averaging 4.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game, he put together his worst statistical season since 2016. 

In the playoffs, his production dipped even more, and he only played more than 10 minutes twice, struggling immensely. Not even his three-point shot was falling, and Ingles only hit two of his seven three-point attempts in the series. 

That lack of production when the Magic needed it the most suggests that Ingles' days of playing winning basketball are coming to an end. Obviously, that does not mean he cannot help the team — he can do that as a veteran presence on the sidelines and in the locker room — but paying someone who doesn’t help the team win on the court $11 million is a lot of money. 

The Magic are not going to take anyone by surprise next season. Opponents now know about their talent, size and defensive skills. So, if they want to return to the playoffs and maybe even win a series, they need players who can reliably contribute on the floor. 

Not picking up Ingles’ team option could help open up additional cap space to bring in those types of players.