Magic Rumors

NBA Teams With Most, Least Roster Continuity

The NBA’s 2019 offseason featured even more player movement than usual, with new rookies entering the league, free agents changing teams, and a total of 43(!) trades being completed between the end of the 2018/19 season and 2019/20’s opening night.

That roster turnover is reflected in this season’s list of returning players for each team. Last fall, when we looked at the teams with the most and least roster continuity from year to year, a dozen teams were bringing back at least 11 players from their 2017/18 rosters, while only two clubs carried over fewer than eight players.

Heading into the 2019/20 season though, just four teams – the Magic, Nuggets, Spurs, and Mavericks – are bringing back at least 11 players from last year’s end-of-season rosters. Meanwhile, 11 clubs will carry over fewer than eight players from their 2018/19 rosters.

[RELATED: 2019/20 NBA Roster Counts]

Listed below are the number of returning players for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, from most to fewest. Bringing back a significant number of players doesn’t necessarily lead to regular season success, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a few of the teams near the top of this list enjoy fast starts due to their players’ familiarity with each other, while teams near the bottom of the list may take some time to get used to their changes.

Here’s the returning-player count for each team:

  1. Orlando Magic: 13
  2. Denver Nuggets: 12
    San Antonio Spurs: 12
  3. Dallas Mavericks: 11
  4. Charlotte Hornets: 10
    Chicago Bulls: 10
    Cleveland Cavaliers: 10
    Houston Rockets: 10
    Miami Heat: 10
    Milwaukee Bucks: 10
    Sacramento Kings: 10
    Toronto Raptors: 10
  5. Detroit Pistons: 9
    Philadelphia 76ers: 9
  6. Los Angeles Clippers: 8
    Boston Celtics: 8
    Indiana Pacers: 8
    Oklahoma City Thunder: 8
    Portland Trail Blazers: 8
  7. Brooklyn Nets: 7
    Minnesota Timberwolves: 7
    New York Knicks: 7
    Utah Jazz: 7
  8. Atlanta Hawks: 6
    Golden State Warriors: 6
    Los Angeles Lakers: 6
    Memphis Grizzlies: 6
    New Orleans Pelicans: 6
    Phoenix Suns: 6
    Washington Wizards: 6

Kings Claim Forward DaQuan Jeffries

The Kings have claimed rookie swingman DaQuan Jeffries off waivers, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Jeffries was one of five players waived by the Magic on Saturday. The 6’5” Jeffries, who played college ball at Tulsa, was ranked by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony as the fourth-best prospect who wasn’t drafted in 2019. He posted 13.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.2 BPG, and 1.0 SPG in his final college season, shooting .502/.366/.755. Jeffries made five brief appearances during Orlando’s preseason games but didn’t score.

Tyler Lydon will likely be waived to clear a roster spot for Jeffries, James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. The former Nuggets forward signed a two-year, minimum-salary pact with Sacramento in July but only $50K was guaranteed in the first year.

Southeast Notes: Fultz, Thomas, Waiters, Borrego

Magic guard Markelle Fultz is regaining confidence in his game as the start of the 2019/20 season nears, Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel writes.

Fultz, who’s entering his third NBA campaign, has only appeared in 33 regular season games since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2017 due to a well-documented shoulder injury. He was acquired by Orlando in exchange for Jonathon Simmons, a first-round pick and a second-round pick this past February.

“Every day I go back out there I get more and more comfortable. I get used to being back out there,” Fultz said. “It’s been so long for me that I’m just happy to be out there and I’m just trying to learn and play as hard as I can.”

Fultz failed to live up to the high expectations with Philadelphia, but at just 21 years old and finally healthy, he could help propel Orlando in the race for the Eastern Conference playoffs this season.

In six preseason games with Orlando, Fultz averaged 6.7 points, four assists and 1.8 steals per contest off the bench. Despite his exact role being immediately unclear, both Fultz and the Magic recognize that he’s headed in the right direction.

“I mean, we’ll see,” coach Steve Clifford said of Fultz’ role in the rotation. “Markelle needs to do, in my opinion, what Markelle has done since he got here: have good days. Have a good day tomorrow. That’s what the best players do. That’s what the best teams do: is have good days, [and] put good stretches of days together. Be better Friday than he is Tuesday. I think that in my experiences that’s what the best players do, [and] that’s what the best teams do.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas participated in a full practice Saturday and hopes to play in Wednesday’s season opener against Dallas, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link). However, head coach Scott Brooks isn’t ready to commit on a potential Thomas return just yet. “I’d love to have him for the first game,” Brooks said on whether Thomas would play. “We’ll see. Probably not, but we’ll see.”
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel provides additional details on Dion Waiters suspension, including his decision to make some rather questionable posts on social media in wake of the announcement. The suspension stems from a heated conversation between Waiters and head coach Erik Spoelstra after Waiters played only 10 minutes in the Heat‘s final preseason game on Friday.
  • Hornets coach James Borrego is taking a different approach entering his second season with the team, asserting his authority more while ensuring that he remains a good listener and keeps a positive attitude, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes. “I feel like J.B. probably too much, to an extent, last (season) tried to keep everybody happy,” Marvin Williams said of Borrego. “I think this (season), he’s much more comfortable with people. He understands who we are as people and players. He’s just in a better place because of that.”

Magic Waive Five Players

The Magic have cut down their roster in advance of opening night, announcing today in a press release that they’ve released guard Jon Davis, swingmen DaQuan Jeffries and B.J. Johnson, forward Vic Law, and big man Isaac Humphries.

All five players were training camp invitees on non-guaranteed contracts, so it’s not surprising that they’ve been cut. Still, the series of moves leaves Orlando with just 13 players on guaranteed standard contracts.

NBA rules require teams to carry at least 14 players on standard contracts, though teams can dip below that minimum for two weeks at a time.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks wrote earlier today that the Magic, who don’t have a ton of room below the luxury-tax threshold or hard cap, may alternate between carrying 13 and 14 players to start the regular season to meet those roster requirements while limiting their financial commitments.

In addition to their 13 players on standard contracts, Orlando is also carrying two players on two-way deals.

2019 Offseason In Review: Orlando Magic

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2019 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2019/20 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Orlando Magic.

Signings:

Trades:

  • Acquired the Lakers’ 2020 second-round pick and cash ($2,226,778) from the Lakers in exchange for the draft rights to Talen Horton-Tucker (No. 46 pick).

Draft picks:

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

Salary cap situation:

  • Remained over the cap.
  • Hard-capped.
  • Carrying approximately $128.83MM in guaranteed salary.
  • Full bi-annual exception ($3.62MM) still available.

Story of the summer:

After enduring six consecutive seasons of 47+ losses, the Magic turned things around in 2018/19. Fueled by one of the NBA’s best defenses, Orlando finished the season on a 22-9 run to claim the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.

While it was encouraging step for the franchise, it’s not as if Orlando was a serious contender once the playoffs arrived. So it was somewhat surprising when the Magic essentially doubled down on their current roster this summer, locking up Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross to $100MM and $50MM contracts, respectively, and re-signing role players like Khem Birch and Michael Carter-Williams.

The Magic’s approach to the offseason could be interpreted as a sign that they didn’t have enough confidence in their young players to let go of their veterans. It was widely speculated, for instance, that picking Mohamed Bamba with the No. 6 overall pick in 2018 would help pave the way for Orlando to let Vucevic walk. Instead, the team gave its All-Star center a four-year deal worth $25MM annually, creating some uncertainty about where Bamba stands.

But there’s another way to interpret the Magic’s roster moves and what they mean for the team’s young players. After all, the team wasn’t willing to go all-in on a roster that won 42 games in the hopes that it will produce more 42-win seasons — Orlando’s front office thinks this group is capable of getting better.

It’s hard to imagine vets like Vucevic and Ross increasing their production much beyond what they’re providing now, so that internal improvement will have to come from the team’s young players. Bamba can get better. So can forwards Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon. And if the Magic can get anything out of former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, that’d just be a bonus.

It’s fair to question how the Magic will handle their rotation if all those youngsters prove they’re capable of taking on major roles, but that’s the kind of good problem that the team would welcome. For now, Orlando’s veterans should help increase the club’s floor, while the ongoing development of the young players will determine how high its ceiling can be.

Read more

New Teammates Raving About Aminu

  • Al-Farouq Aminu‘s new teammates in Orlando have been raving about his versatility, work ethic, and ability to adapt quickly to the Magic‘s system, writes John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com. Aminu was the team’s big offseason addition, signing a three-year contract worth nearly $30MM.

2019/20 Over/Unders: Southeast Division

The 2019/20 NBA regular season will get underway in just six days, which means it’s time to get serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign.

With the help of the lines from a handful of sports betting sites, including Bovada and BetOnline, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division. In a series of team-by-team polls, you’ll get the chance to weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

Having already looked at the Atlantic, Northwest, Central, and Pacific, we’re moving onto the Southeast today…


Miami Heat

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Heat poll.


Orlando Magic

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Magic poll.


Atlanta Hawks

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Hawks poll.


Washington Wizards

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Wizards poll.


Charlotte Hornets

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Hornets poll.


Previous voting results:

Atlantic:

  • Philadelphia 76ers (54.5 wins): Over (54.9%)
  • Boston Celtics (49.5 wins): Under (57.0%)
  • Toronto Raptors (46.5 wins): Under (59.1%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (43.5 wins): Over (58.3%)
  • New York Knicks (27.5 wins): Under (54.9%)

Northwest:

  • Denver Nuggets (53.5 wins): Over (51.8%)
  • Utah Jazz (53.5 wins): Under (50.8%)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (46.5 wins): Over (78.7%)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (35.5 wins): Under (57.5%)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (32.5 wins): Under (55.1%)

Central:

  • Milwaukee Bucks (57.5 wins): Over (63.5%)
  • Indiana Pacers (46.5 wins): Over (56.6%)
  • Detroit Pistons (37.5 wins): Over (69.8%)
  • Chicago Bulls (33.5 wins): Under (56.2%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (24.5 wins): Under (70.0%)

Pacific:

  • Los Angeles Clippers (54.5 wins): Over (53.9%)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (51.5 wins): Over (50.3%)
  • Golden State Warriors (48.5 wins): Over (54.3%)
  • Sacramento Kings (38.5 wins): Over (66.2%)
  • Phoenix Suns (29.5 wins): Under (61.8%)

Fultz Showing Progress In Preseason

  • Magic guard Markelle Fultz appears to be playing with confidence and letting his combination of size, athleticism, and instincts help establish himself in the league, according to Dan Devine of The Ringer, who provides a detailed examination of Fultz’s preseason performances.

Magic Sign Jon Davis To Exhibit 10 Deal

After waiving Hassani Gravett on Sunday, the Magic didn’t keep the 20th spot on their roster open for long. According to a team press release, Orlando has filled out its preseason roster by signing former UNC-Charlotte guard Jon Davis. It’s an Exhibit 10 contract, tweets Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel.

Davis, 22, averaged 21.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 3.7 APG in his senior year at Charlotte before going undrafted this spring. He caught on with the Nets for the Las Vegas Summer League in July but didn’t see much action for Brooklyn, logging just nine total minutes in two Summer League games.

By signing Davis to an Exhibit 10 contract, the Magic can secure his G League rights as a potential “affiliate player.” He’d be eligible for a bonus worth up to $50K if he spends at least two months with the Lakeland Magic, Orlando’s NBAGL affiliate.

An NBA team can designate up to four players as affiliate players for their G League squad. For Orlando, Gravett, Davis, DaQuan Jeffries, and Vic Law look like the top candidates.

Magic Waive Hassani Gravett

Hassani Gravett, who was with the Magic on an Exhibit 10 contract, has been waived, the team announced on Twitter

An undrafted rookie guard out of South Carolina, Gravett appears headed to the team’s G League affiliate in Lakeland. He can earn a bonus of up to $50K in addition to his NBAGL salary if he spends at least 60 days there.

Orlando was at the 20-player limit for training camp, so the move creates an opening if the Magic decide to sign another player.