Why the Orlando Magic might wait to give Franz Wagner, Jalen Suggs extensions

The real goal for the Orlando Magic this offseason might be to secure extensions for Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs. But there is an incentive to wait for the offseason to officially sign them.
Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs are extension eligible this offseason. When the Orlando Magic re-sign them might depend on their plans for this summer and next.
Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs are extension eligible this offseason. When the Orlando Magic re-sign them might depend on their plans for this summer and next. / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Once the NBA Finals end, the flood gates will begin to open in the NBA.

It is not just that the NBA Draft will harken the beginning of the NBA offseason shortly after this series concludes. Or that free agency trails quickly after the Draft concludes on June 27.

The end of the NBA Finals also means teams are free to agree to extensions with their own free agents. This is how several teams often opt to bring back their own players on similar terms—think how the Orlando Magic inked Gary Harris to a fresh two-year deal before free agency tipped off a few years ago.

The transaction window will begin to open soon. It is the most anticipated offseason in some time for the Magic.

Orlando is coming off a successful run that saw them make the playoffs. Now, with cap room, the team is expected to make a splash, adding at least one starter to the mix and perhaps going bigger.

Everyone is eager to see what the next steps are for this team.

President of basketball operations Jeff Weltman has been waiting for this moment too. He is waiting too because the window of opportunity to spend and add to the roster is closing. The bill is coming due.

Both Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs are extension-eligible this offseason. Especially considering the salary cap is about to increase dramatically thanks to the NBA's new TV deal (likely doubling the amount the league rakes in from its previous deal), figuring out how to price these two players properly will be important.

But the Magic also want to take care of these two core players. Wagner and Suggs are about to become more expensive.

And arguably the most important thing the Magic do this offseason is not to add another high-priced player to the rotation. It is to ensure Wagner and Suggs are taken care of and in a Magic uniform for the long-term future.

There is a good reason for the Orlando Magic to wait on signing extensions

But there is a very good reason to wait and a good reason neither player will get an extension signed this offseason.

The Philadelphia 76ers are showing that with how they are handling Tyrese Maxey.

The Sixers are surprisingly one of the teams with tons of cap room this offseason. Spotrac projects the Sixers to have $55.5 million in cap space this offseason (they have only four players under contract entering the offseason!).

After the season Maxey had, it would seem to be a slam dunk to extend him and to give him a max contract. That would be correct.

While the two sides did not get an extension done this past offseason, nobody seemed concerned they wouldn’t get something done before he hit free agency. That still appears to be the case with Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting the Sixers are expected to sign Maxey to a five-year, $205 million contract. That is a max contract for Maxey.

Max contracts like the one Maxey will get are cut and dry. But there is a reason why pen has not been put to paper. And why the Sixers will wait until after the moratorium ends in July.

Maxey's max contract will pay him $35.3 million in his first season. That would eat into a significant amount of the Sixers' excess of cap room. But because the Sixers hold his Bird Rights, since he has played with the team for at least three years, they can go over the cap to re-sign him.

Maxey, coming off his rookie contract, has a cap hold of $13.0 million. Not signing him to an extension saves the Sixers $22.3 million in room! That is why the Sixers will be able to chase a max star like Paul George this offseason.

Patience is indeed a virtue. And the Orlando Magic could display the same patience.

It is unclear yet whether the Orlando Magic need cap room for 2025

The Orlando Magic will face a similar dilemma when it comes to their own extension-eligible rookie contracts in Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs this offseason.

The Magic practically have $49.5 million this offseason—mostly depending on what they decide to do with team options for Mo Wagner and Joe Ingles. Orlando is expected to spend at least some of that money this offseason.

And how much they spend could ultimately help decide whether Wagner and Suggs get their contracts now or wait for next summer.

Orlando has only $56.4 million committed to the 2026 season, including picking up team options for Paolo Banchero, Anthony Black and Jett Howard and the team's No. 18 pick.

Wagner's cap hold would be approximately $17.5 million and Suggs' cap hold would be approximately $23 million. The Magic would add roughly $34.5 million in cap holds they will be holding onto just for those two players.

If the cap increases by the projected 10 percent as part of the league's smoothing plan to integrate the new TV deal, the salary cap is projected to land at $155.1 million.

Before we deal with free agents this offseason or any other lingering cap holds, the Magic are operating with $64.2 million in cap room for the summer of 2025.

A lot of that will get eaten up with the players the Magic will sign. But they could still spend more than $30 million and maintain a healthy amount of cap room for next season. The reality is that a 10 percent increase in the cap for the foreseeable future will create tons of cap flexibility.

This will be something to return to after free agency is completed. What the Magic do this summer will likely determine whether Wagner and Suggs ink extensions this summer.

There is still something to negotiate with Wagner and Suggs

The next part of that equation is what the Orlando Magic will pay Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs in extension talks. That too will affect how aggressive the Magic want to be in free agency next year—and perhaps this coming season, knowing that Paolo Banchero will get a max in the summer of 2026.

Wagner's max contract right now is estimated to be for five years, $227.5 million. It would pay him $38.8 million in the first season (I estimate it would pay him $52.8 million in 2030, just imagine what Paolo Banchero's max will be by then, even with the cap increasing).

Pricing Suggs will be just as difficult to do. He had one stellar season and is essential to this team. But it is hard to know exactly how much to pay him. It is certainly a bigger investment than anyone else.

There is a fine needle to thread. But Orlando knows it is going to have to start paying its roster sooner than later.

But even under these estimates, the Magic would save significant cap room by retaining Wagner and Suggs' cap hold rather than signing them this summer.

When and how the Magic re-sign these key players will depend on the team's long-term plans and what it wants to accomplish not only this summer but next summer too.

Next. Anthony Black Improvement 06.07.24. Anthony Black must improve this area for Orlando Magic. dark

For now, as important as it might be to wrap up Wagner and Suggs, it might make more sense to wait.