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Harvey and Marble Impress in Orlando ‘Blue’ Loss

2015 July 9
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/John Raoux

AP Photo/John Raoux

The Orlando Magic ‘Blue’ squad may have lost 91-85 to the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, but #51 pick Tyler Harvey, and last year’s #56 pick Devyn Marble both looked outstanding. Harvey had 24 points and 5 assists on 8-of-13 shooting (4-of-7 on 3s). Marble notched 22 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals on 5-of-9 three-point shooting.

Indiana won the fourth period 32-22 to claim the victory behind 28 huge points in 31 minutes from Joe Young. Former Magic man Romero Osby tallied 12 points and 6 rebounds. Orlando shot 48.5 FG%, but conceded 50.0 3PT% (14-of-28) to the Pacers. Indy attempted 19 more free throws than Orlando.

 

Below is the full game recap.

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Hezonja, Gordon, and Payton Done With Summer League Games

2015 July 8
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, the Orlando Magic are shutting down Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton, and Mario Hezonja for the remainder of Summer League. They’ve done enough to impress the Magic coaching staff, and have earned their rest. All three played for the Orlando ‘Blue’ squad that is currently 1-2 and plays the Indiana Pacers Thursday at 1 p.m. and concludes with another contest on Friday.

Probably the MVP of the entire Orlando Summer League, Aaron Gordon stunned everyone in the 3 games he played. His confidence was back. More importantly, the 19-year-old showed vast improvements in his jump shot. Whether it was off the dribble, standard pull-ups off a screen, or even fadeaway jumpers.

agstats

Aaron still currently leads all Summer League participants in both points and rebounds averages. In 32.7 minutes per contest in his 3 games, Aaron posted 21.7 ppg, 11.7 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.7 bpg, and 1.3 spg on 50.0 FG% and 50.0 3PT%. It’s a giant step in a positive direction for #00 who showed he can be more than capable of potentially starting next to Tobias Harris. PF or SF, it doesn’t matter. Aaron proved his worth of last year’s #4 Draft pick.

Mario Hezonja captivated us with a game-winning 3-pointer, outstanding passing vision, and phenomenal dunks. In 2 games off the bench at 24.5 minutes per contest, the #5 Draft pick posted 13.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, and 1.0 spg on 37.5 FG% and 28.6 3PT%. Don’t let the percentages deceive you, ‘Super Mario’ will be just fine by the time the regular season comes around. The 20-year-old will participate for his Croatian national team at EuroBasket.

For Elfrid Payton, it was more about seeing an improvement in his mechanics than actual statistics. I fear he may need to trim his hair a little as it’s starting to get in his face. In his 2 starts, Payton in 25.5 minutes per contest averaged 5.5 ppg, 6.5 apg, and 2.0 spg on 30.8 FG% and 25.0 3PT%. The 4.5 turnovers per game were not ideal, but Summer League can be hectic like that when you’re pushing the ball constantly. His percentages don’t indicate it, but Elfrid’s jump shot form has gotten better. It looks more fluid and he has less of a hitch with a stroke. If Payton can knock down an occasional jumper, that’ll open up more looks for his teammates.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

 

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Great Orlando News: The 2015-2016 Salary Cap Will Be $70 Million

2015 July 8
by Adam Papageorgiou

NBA-StarsBroke

The Orlando Magic will be under the salary cap for the 2015-2016 season. Why am I so confident? That’s because the salary cap will be much higher than the projected $67.1 million we were all anticipating. It will in fact be $70 million, according to multiple reports.

 

 

 

 

Don’t worry, Orlando won’t come anywhere near the $84.7 million luxury tax. This is all fantastic news for the Magic as the NBA moratorium period closes at 12:01 a.m. on July 9th, and teams can finally officially sign their player to verbally agreed upon contracts. Barring some bizarre DeAndre Jordan Clippers-Mavericks situation occurring in the City Beautiful – in some order – expect Tobias Harris, C.J. Watson, Mario Hezonja, and Jason Smith to sign their deals soon.

So what does that do to the Magic’s $70 million salary cap situation?

70mil

14 players at around $68.2 million in salary for the ’15-’16 campaign based off of my numbers, assuming they don’t cut Dewayne Dedmon and Devyn Marble before their contracts for the season get guaranteed (or obviously make a trade). That leaves almost $1.8 million to spend, more than enough for a young unsigned free agent.

Why the ‘Player #15’ slot? Well, the maximum amount of players allowed on any NBA roster is fifteen. Tyler Harvey was Orlando’s #51 selection in last month’s NBA Draft. Harvey very well could be Orlando’s 15th contract as he can get a similar non-guaranteed, multi-year contract to what Marble and Dedmon have.

The 15th player could be another Summer League prospect playing well currently: Peyton Siva, Keith Appling, or Scottie Wilbekin. The Magic could go another route, but the bottom line is that there is some wiggle room where there would have been none with a lower salary cap. Thanks, Adam Silver. 

Orlando didn’t make a massive free agency splash, but they’re retaining Tobias Harris at a reasonable price, selected Mario Hezonja who shows fantastic promise and will add to the Magic’s depth, and they signed a solid veteran backup point guard in C.J. Watson at a decent price. If Jason Smith and Tyler Harvey (or another young point guard) play well, that’s a bonus from where I’m sitting.

All of this and Orlando stays under the salary cap. Bravo to Rob Hennigan and crew. Now it’s up to Scott Skiles to coach these guys up and hopefully make a run to the playoffs. 

 

 

Side Note: Following up on an MBO story back in early May, the Orlando Magic were indeed under the salary floor last season…by about $1.9 million. That amount will be divvied up among those 15 players.  

 

That’s about $127,956 per Magic player. Sweet offseason bonus. These funds play no factor in Orlando’s ’15-’16 salary cap. With the salary floor at $63 million, Orlando won’t have to worry about approaching the floor for a second consecutive year.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

 

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Orlando ‘White’ Remains Undefeated With Win Over Charlotte

2015 July 8
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/John Raoux

AP Photo/John Raoux

The Orlando Magic ‘White’ squad improved to an impressive 3-0 at Summer League after taking down the Charlotte Hornets 81-68 on Wednesday. Keith Benson led Orlando with 16 points while Scottie Wilbekin also poured in 15 points off the bench. Keith Appling, Glen Rice Jr., and Melvin Ejim each added 10 points in what was another impressive group showing. Former Kentucky Wildcat Aaron Harrison led Charlotte with 15 points.

Both teams shot about 40% from the field, but Orlando prevailed thanks to a 40-29 rebounding advantage as well as a 16-10 assists advantage over the Hornets. Wilbekin was a game-best +20 on the parquet floor thanks to sharp 5-of-8 three-point shooting.

 

Below is the full game recap.

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Orlando to Sign ‘Magic Killer’ Jason Smith to 1-Year Deal

2015 July 7
by Adam Papageorgiou
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

He’s not quite prime Allen Iverson, or Jannero Pargo, but the Orlando Magic are signing ‘Magic Killer’ Jason Smith to a 1-year deal. Smith has notoriously had some fantastic contests against Orlando in the past. The 29-year-old 7-footer can’t be signed until at least July 9th since we’re currently in the midst of the free agency moratorium period, but multiple sources – including Smith’s own Twitter account – report that Jason will be joining the Magic for a season, and making around $4.5 million in the ’15-’16 campaign.

 

 

 

The 29-year-old Smith was selected 20th overall by the Miami Heat in the 2007 Draft before being traded to Philadelphia that same day. The Colorado State product played 2 seasons with the 76ers and 4 with New Orleans before being signed to a 1-year, $3.278 million deal with New York last season.

Hey, I don’t blame Smith for being thrilled to be leaving the Knicks where he played all 82 games, starting 31 of them. At around 22 minutes per contest, Smith averaged 8.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, and 1.7 apg on 43.4 FG% and 35.7 3PT%. Smith is a jump-shooter, but this was the first season he tried to shoot a few more 3-pointers (15-of-42 from deep), so there’s some ‘stretch-4’ potential there.

It’s unknown what Smith’s role will be. I view him as a 3rd-string Center and/or PF. He’s a legitimate 7-footer who is better defender than Channing Frye (which doesn’t say too much). His defensive number averages seem low, but Smith when healthy can be a respectable help defender who can make an occasional big-time block. The guy stays active.

Keep in mind, Smith suffered a season-ending right knee injury back in February 2014. The mobile 7-footer, 240-pounder probably wasn’t completely healthy until just a few months ago, and he may display more on-court movement come the ’15-’16 campaign.

 

The $4.5 million 1-year deal seems a lot, but that could be a fantastic trade chip as the upcoming season progresses.

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Memphis Beats Orlando ‘Blue’ in Sudden Death Double Overtime

2015 July 7
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Orlando Magic ‘Blue’ fell to 1-2 in Summer League after losing in double ‘Sudden Death’ overtime to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, 73-71. Russ Smith hit the game-winner for Memphis as he tallied 20 points. Aaron Gordon was the only Magic man in double figures with 22 points to go with 7 boards, 4 assists, and 3 blocks. The 19-year-old has had a very solid week. Drew Crawford added 9 points while Devyn Marble poured in eight.

The Grizzlies doubled up Orlando on free throw attempts. Orlando got off to a good start from 3-point range, but finished just 8-of-24 from deep. ‘Blue’ committed 24 turnovers in comparison to only 12 turnovers from Memphis. Tough to win that way.

 

Below is the full game recap.

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WATCH: Mario Hezonja Took Multiple Flights on Monday

2015 July 6
by Adam Papageorgiou

flyingmario

FLY, MARIO, FLY!!!

The Orlando Magic’s #5 overall selection proved that he can do more than shoot and pass the ball. Mario Hezonja can indeed get nasty, and back it up too. Multiple times, from multiple platforms.

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Orlando Magic ‘Blue’ Fall to Thunder on Day 3 of Summer League

2015 July 6
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.

The Orlando Magic ‘Blue’ team’s hopes at playing for the Summer League championship took a bit of a blow on Monday as they fell 73-65 to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Aaron Gordon led the Magic again with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 steals on 8-of-11 shooting. Efficient. Mario Hezonja had 14 points on 6-of-16 (2-of-9 on 3s) shooting as he was not happy with the officials that he didn’t get any free throw attempts. Still a good showing for the #5 selection as he displayed outstanding court vision.

Elfrid Payton was only 1-of-3 from the field. 4 points, 4 assists, 3 steals, 4 turnovers in 19 minutes. Elf hasn’t had a great first two days. Not awful, but not great. Other than Tyler Harvey scoring 6 points on 3-of-5 shooting, Orlando got very little production from anyone else on the roster.

 

Below is the full game recap.

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Orlando ‘White’ Beat Pacers; Now 2-0 at Summer League

2015 July 6
by Adam Papageorgiou

whiteday3

Don’t tell the players on the Orlando Magic ‘White’ squad that it’s unlikely they’ll get a Magic training camp invite. Erie BayHawks Head Coach Bill Petersen has these individuals working well as a unit, and winning ball games in the process.

Orlando ‘White’ utilized a 28-15 fourth quarter to turn around their deficit and claim the 85-76 victory on Monday. Chris Singleton and Keith Appling led Orlando with 17 points each. Taylor Braun adeded in 13 points while Melvin Ejim tallied 12 points and 7 rebounds. ‘White’ only shot 39.4 FG% but prevailed thanks to the 20 more free throws they attempted than Indy.

 

Below is the full game recap.

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Kyle O’Quinn Lands with New York Knicks in Sign-and-Trade

2015 July 5
by Adam Papageorgiou

koq

According to multiple reports, the Orlando Magic have ended their 3-year relationship with Kyle O’Quinn as KOQ was involved in a sign-and-trade that now sends him to the New York Knicks on a reported 4-year, $16 million contract.

 

 

 

Cash considerations and a 2019 second round pick for the 49th overall pick in the 2012 Draft. Not much in return as it appears the Magic didn’t see the Restricted Free Agent as fitting in with next season’s roster, so they tried to get some type of assets back. Tobias Harris, Channing Frye, Aaron Gordon, Dewayne Dedmon, and even Andrew Nicholson all will be seeing PF minutes.

$4 million per season is a pretty solid deal for a Knicks team that could use a passing big man. Kyle’s racked up some outstanding assists in his career so far. Oh, and he’s a proud New York native who will love playing many contests at Madison Square Garden.

The 25-year-old only played in 51 games last season, starting 17 of them. A bad ankle injury at the start of the ’14-’15 campaign appeared to bother the 6’10”, 240-pounder all year. It truly affected his performance, on both ends of the court. In about 16 minutes per contest, KOQ averaged 5.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, and 1.2 apg on 49.2 FG% and 27.9 3PT%. The Magic tried to turn Kyle into a ‘stretch 4’, and it just didn’t work out.

Kyle’s a really cool guy with a genuine personality, and he’s a hilarious character. We wish KOQ all of the best in New York and we’re happy to see him get an awesome payday. We’ll most definitely miss that beard. Hopefully he doesn’t crush the Magic with future revenge games.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

 

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