Are the Magic Inviting Corey Maggette to Training Camp?
Let me preface by stating that there are no inside sources involved in this post. This is the power of Twitter research being put to work. It’s been 14 years, but Corey Maggette and the Orlando Magic could potentially reunite. Maggette has received Orlando player follows recently from Victor Oladipo (@VicOladipo), Maurice Harkless (@moe_harkless), Tobias Harris (@tobias31), and even Andrew Nicholson (@nicholaf44) who is in Europe touring with Canada. Even the Magic’s official team Twitter account is now following Corey. Also, Maggette has recently listed his California home. Or maybe Maggette is going to put together some type of charity event and this post is me exaggerating, but hang in there with me.
Wait a minute, Adam, don’t the Magic already have 15 players under contract with Peyton Siva becoming the 16th player at training camp who is destined to head to the Erie BayHawks at the start of the ’14-’15 regular season? Why yes, you are correct. HOWEVER, Dewayne Dedmon‘s contract for this upcoming campaign is completely non-guaranteed until the Magic’s first regular season game. So it’s fourteen guaranteed deals currently. The Magic are expected to have 3-4 non-guaranteed players at training camp in October. That means there is potentially room for another veteran like Maggette. That may come in handy because Orlando is still about one million dollars under the salary floor. Corey – if he makes the final squad – at the veteran minimum more than gets you above the floor.
Three years ago I broke down the top 10 Magic small forwards in the franchise’s history. Corey made it to #9 as a rookie who only played 77 games for Orlando. He was a 20-year-old making a huge impact on Doc Rivers‘ Heart ‘N Hustle squad with phenomenal feats of athleticism and a sneak peek at his potential offensive arsenal.
Maggette had to be dealt though in that famous summer of 2000 to create salary cap space for John Gabriel’s signings of Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill (with Tim Duncan being more than a viable signing option). Corey was shipped to the Los Angeles Clippers – where he’d become a borderline All-Star – along with Keyon Dooling, Derek Strong, and cash for a 2006 first round draft pick.
What do the Magic still need to desperately improve on? FREE THROW ATTEMPTS! Who in their prime was one of the best basketball players on the planet that could find a way to get to the charity stripe? Corey Maggette. He’s still only 34 years old. At worst Maggette is in a mentoring role. At best, you have another potential Trade Deadline asset. Corey didn’t play last regular season after being waived by the San Antonio Spurs last October. It’s a matter of shaking off past injuries and the wear-and-tear of being a professional athlete for well over a decade.
The Magic are not exactly deep at the center position. Dedmon by default is at worst the 3rd-string center. For Maggette to get on the 15-man roster, the Duke Blue Devil is going to have to find some past prime form to impress Rob Hennigan and the front office enough to cut ties with Dewayne before Opening Night and depend on a guy like Nicholson to cover the third-string center role.
This is all speculation, but Twitter research has come in handy before in potentially breaking stories. This would be a nice one. I’d love to have Corey put on those pinstripes and watch him try and prove his value to an NBA franchise.
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