Winners and losers of free agency: How have the Magic fared so far?

Are the Magic widely seen as winners of free agency so far?
Orlando Magic v Denver Nuggets
Orlando Magic v Denver Nuggets / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

The big free agency dominos have already fallen. Paul George agreed to join the Philadelphia 76ers, Klay Thompson will play next season in a Dallas Mavericks uniform, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is moving East to Orlando, and Isaiah Hartenstein is fortifying the Thunder's frontcourt. 

The biggest names that were actually available already made their choices, and the Magic were rather busy, inking six new deals. Most of them are to bring back players from last season--the only new additions are Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and rookie Tristan da Silva—but continuity also has its value, especially in a rather weak free-agency class. 

But how did the Magic fare overall? Are they winners or losers of free agency so far? 

Winners and losers of free agency so far

ESPN's Chris Herring, for one, has the Magic listed as winners, primarily based on the addition of Caldwell-Pope. 

"Orlando pulled off perhaps the most strikingly solid deal of free agency thus far, landing an agreement with two-time NBA champion wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for three years and just $66 million," Herring writes

Herring's other winners are the Oklahoma City Thunder, who added two incredibly impactful role players, and the Philadelphia 76ers with their addition of Paul George. If George and Joel Embiid can stay healthy, the 76ers should be a force in the Eastern Conference that the Magic will have to figure out how to deal with. 

The West is still the better conference, especially with the Thunder getting even better, the Grizzlies returning to the mix, and young teams like the Rockets and Spurs improving as well. Nevertheless, the East is getting stronger, too. The Celtics aren't going anywhere, the Pacers will only get better, the Knicks have a strong team, the 76ers now have their big three in place, the Cavaliers are still a talented young group, and you also cannot count out the Bucks. 

The Magic will have their hands full, even after adding a championship-level role player

Magic free agency grades

Most fans seem content with what the Magic did so far this summer, but how do some of the big outlets feel? Most of them have already handed out free agency grades, so let's look at how the Magic did. 

ESPN: Re-signing Goga Bitadze: B Re-signing Gary Harris: B- Bringing in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: B Re-signing Moritz Wagner: B Re-negotiating with Jonathan Isaac: B

Bleacher Report:  Re-signing Goga Bitadze: A  Bringing back Gary Harris: B+ Signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: A Re-signing Moritz Wagner: B Re-negotiating Jonathan Isaac's contract: A 

The Athletic: Signing KCP: A

Fox Sports: Signing KCP: A-

Yahoo Sports: Signing KCP: B-

Overall, most NBA writers seem to think that the Magic did fine, especially by signing Caldwell-Pope. There is an argument to be made that Orlando should have done more. They are essentially running it back with one new role player, even though they could have tried to make a big splash. This far into free agency, the only way to still do that for the Magic would be to get a trade done. 

At the same time, however, it can be risky to accelerate a young team's timeline significantly. It would be great for fans to see their team positioned as a potential title contender or one of the teams favored to come out of the East, but the core might not be ready for that quite yet. Very few teams whose core is 23 or younger are. The Thunder were incredibly young last season, but even they had a 25-year-old MVP candidate. 

There are other concerns with the Magic’s offseason, though. For one, youngsters Anthony Black and Jett Howard seem ill positioned to see minutes once again. Besides, the Magic did not get a true point guard to help the offfense and will rely heavily on Jalen Suggs to improve and Paolo Banchero to carry a huge playmaking load.