The Orlando Magic free agent targets in 2022 are crucial to the team’s rebuilding process. The Magic made splashes when they drafted Paolo Banchero 1st overall and should look into the free-agent market to bolster their roster even further.
While free agency may not have star-studded names when the doors open on July 1st, Orlando is hoping to make sizeable improvements that can help develop its young core.
Magic free agent targets
The Orlando Magic offseason plans should be centered around improving their offense. They finished last season dead last with 22 wins and ranked in the bottom half of the league in nearly every statistical category. They were 29th in points per game, 28th in field goal percentage, and last in shooting efficiency and free throw attempts.
Drafting Banchero is a good step in the right direction. He’s an incredible offensive threat who thrives in the mid-range and can create his own shot, but free agency is key to taking the rebuilding process to the next level.
Let’s look at the best free agents available and the Magic offseason news.
Shooting should be the top priority on the Magic’s free-agent targets. For quite some time now, Orlando’s biggest issue revolves around putting together a lineup that can shoot from deep. Last season NBA teams combined to average 35.2% on attempts from deep. The Magic had only three players to exceed this average on at least 100 attempts.
The starting lineup is currently filled with non-shooters like Markelle Fultz, and inefficient ones like Cole Anthony. The Magic need an offensive threat who can explode for 30 points a game. T.J. Warren could fill this gap.
Warren is just coming out of a foot injury, which could make him a low-risk high-reward option for the Magic. He’s a veteran who can help develop the Magic’s backcourt while still impacting the game and shooting efficiently from the field.
In the Bubble, Warren averaged 26 points per game, including a 53-point performance against the Sixers where he knocked down nine out of his 12 shots from deep. While it may not be realistic to expect him to pitch similar numbers, his presence would be a great asset next to Banchero.
Looking at the Magic’s depth chart, it’s clear that they are in need of a backup center. Bamba finally got his break in Orlando last year after shipping off Nikola Vucevic, and to a certain extent the big man delivered. He averaged career numbers with 10.6 points and 8.1 rebounds while shooting 38.1% from deep.
While his numbers are decent, Bamba still hasn’t delivered on his sixth overall draft selection, but the Magic should still bring him back. Free agency is not teaming with suitable options at the center position, and they have the cap space to take a risk on him and develop him even further.
Ricky Rubio is the perfect veteran to have on a rebuilding team. His name has come up in the Magic free agency rumors, and rightfully so. The 31-year-old was having an outstanding season with the Cavaliers last year prior to tearing his ACL. Through 34 games, Rubio was averaging 13.1 points, 6.6 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.4 steals.
At this stage of his career, Rubio has reinvented his game and can instantly have an impact on developing players like Fultz. He’s a great playmaker who can connect with younger players and unlock their potential. Adding him would be a major step in the right direction for Orlando.
Another player that can fill the veteran role is Tyus Jones. Jones is expected to garner some attention across the league this offseason. the 26-year-old is younger than Rubio and can elevate the Magic’s roster in a major way. Unlike Rubio, he is just entering his prime and would thrive as starting point guard in Orlando.
While he only averaged 8.7 points, 4.4 assists, and 2.4 rebounds, his impact in Memphis was crucial especially when Ja Morant went down, and the Grizzlies went on a 21-6 run. Jones should be a primary Magic free-agent target.
The Hornets are looking to offload Gordan Hayward’s salary in order to have cap space to resign Miles Bridges. While they openly expressed their interest in keeping him, they also don’t believe that he’s a max player.
If the stars align and everything falls in place, or out of place (depending on which side you’re on), the Magic could sign Bridges in a blockbuster free agency move that would immediately bring them to playoff contention.
At 24 years old, Bridges would fit like a glove in Orlando and immediately provide a much-needed offensive punch. He can play both small-forward or power-forward positions and address Orlando’s key scoring and shooting problems.
While the Hornets will still have the upper hand and can trade future draft capital to keep him, if the opportunity arises and he hits free agency, the Magic should jump at it.