The Orlando Magic on Saturday announced that they waived Nick Johnson and the recently signed Ramon Galloway. The team is expected to retain Damjan Rudez and Arinze Onuaku. It will be a 15-man roster – the NBA’s maximum – for when the regular season begins on October 26th as Frank Vogel’s Magic will host the Miami Heat at Amway Center.
The 30-year-old Rudez being chosen as the fourteenth man on the squad should surprise no one. ‘Damo’ was fantastic during the preseason. In 6 games, the Croatian PF averaged 5.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, and 1.7 apg on 55.6 FG% and 57.1 3PT% in about fourteen minutes per contest. He looked more like the 28-year-old NBA rookie as part of Vogel’s Pacers squad two years ago, than the struggling player he was in Minnesota last season.
The 29-year-old Onuaku has been a pleasant surprise ever since the center played for the team at Orlando Summer League. In 4 preseason contests with the pinstriped patrol, Onuaku averaged 4.0 ppg and 2.3 rpg on 63.6 FG% in about eight minutes per contest.
Still, I didn’t think GM Rob Hennigan would occupy the 15th roster spot. Part of that could be that Bismack Biyombo is expected to serve his 1-game league suspension opening night. Also, rookie big man Stephen Zimmerman may not be ready to play NBA minutes. Onuaku is a large body who can bring some post-up offense.
Nick Johnson came into training camp as the biggest known name among the six total training camp signings. The former Houston Rocket and Arizona Wildcat never made much of an impression. In 4 games played, the 23-year-old Johnson averaged 4.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, and 2.0 apg on 31.3 FG% and 14.3 3PT% in about ten minutes per contest.
Johnson, Onuaku, and Rudez were summer non-guaranteed training camp signings. Onuaku and Rudez now are on the team payroll, but their full season contracts won’t be fully guaranteed until January 10, 2017.
Galloway – who was just signed on Friday by the Magic – is expected to be heading to Erie and the D-League. Johnson very well may be joining him with the BayHawks.
Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO.