After taking not 1 but 2 guards @ 6 and 11…and still trying to figure out what you have in Suggs, Cole, Kelle…that trio – it makes no sense to go out and spend big money on one of these players. So…now we pivot…and with free-agency just 24+ hours away…it is time for my top 5 Magic targets in NBA free-agency…
Let’s get to it!
5- Mo Wagner- You are going to notice a theme with most of this top 5, the Magic need size, I know this team is big, but I specifically mean size that can protect the paint. Mo Wagner’s defense leaves some to be desired but, we know he’s as tough as they come, he’s a tone-setter, and he already knows the team. Besides, do I need to remind you that his little bro plays here?
4- Max Strus- Ok. I can’t help myself, the Magic should still be looking for shooting, let’s be honest. They’ll need to figure out the glut of guards they have but this team’s biggest bug-a-boo is their 3-point shooting and really the only way to correct that is to hire some 3-point shooters. Max Strus is a sharpshooter, shooting 35% from deep and an even higher percentage on catch and shoot opportunities. It’s a lower percentage than Gary Harris but I think he can fill up the stat sheet with volume too, something that seems to evade Harris.
3- Brooke Lopez- I’m still looking for that guy who can back up Wendell and rim protect. This might be pie in the sky, because if I were him, I wouldn’t leave my perfect situation in Milwaukee, but we know he loves Orlando and he really does fit the mold of what the Magic are looking for. The question is, is Brooke Lopez comfortable taking a back seat to Wendell and does that even make sense? That’s why he’s @ 3 for me.
2- Grant Williams- This team needs nasty almost more than anything else - and he’s exactly that. Grant Williams is a tough-nosed small ball 4/5 that can knock down 3’s if you need him to. We’ve seen him go deep into the NBA postseason in back to back years, love what he brings to the table, he’s about the right things. I think he’d be a worthy investment as a restricted free-agent.
Number 1!- Gary Trent Jr- Forget about specific needs for a moment and just remember that the name of the game is to add good basketball players at the right price and at the right time. Gary Trent Jr. is that. The reports came out earlier in the month that the Magic were targeting Trent in free-agency and I guess we’ll find out soon how true that is. I love him as a player. He’s a solid 3 point shooter, defends well, and he’s only 24 – so he can still grow with this young team. He can fill up the stat sheet too, he’s scored at least 17ppg the last 2 seasons and seems to be only getting better. Now keep in mind, he did pick up his 18 million dollar player option and new reports claim that he’s working on a long-term deal to stay in Toronto, but, this could also be in preparation for a sign-and-trade so he still tops the list for me until I see something definitive.