The Orlando Magic has made major strides in establishing a talented core of young players since initiating the rebuilding process at the 2021 NBA trade deadline. While the draft has been a great tool, could they get aggressive using other strategies soon?
One name that stands out for young teams to pursue is Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole, who is set to reach restricted free agency next summer. With Andrew Wiggins also set to reach the open market at the same time, it remains to be seen if each of the Warriors' key players will be retained.
Poole is coming off a breakout season with averages of 18.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. He shot 36.4 percent from beyond the arc on an average of 7.6 attempts per game. He continued to offer timely contributions throughout the Warriors' NBA Finals run.
With the Magic already having fortified its frontcourt, could the team make a concerted effort to add more dynamic contributors on the perimeter? Orlando has added young talents like Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony, and Markelle Fultz in recent years, but those players still must solidify themselves long-term.
According to Heavy, the Magic is a team to watch as a potential suitor for Poole when he reaches restricted free agency. It was also mentioned there is a "good chance" that Golden State "is not going to match."
“I’d watch out for the Magic to be ready to make an offer if he’s restricted, knowing there’s a good chance Golden State is not going to match,” one Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports.
There's a lot to like about the core the Magic is establishing after selecting Paolo Banchero with the first overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Integrating him into a lineup with Franz Wagner and Wendell Carter Jr. creates a strong frontline.
“They’re going to establish something with Paolo in the frontcourt, with his passing. But they’re going to need a top-level perimeter scorer, too. If you put Poole with Paolo and Franz Wagner, it’s an exciting young team,” the executive said.
While the Warriors generate a significant amount of revenue due to their popularity, they have to spend a massive amount in luxury tax and repeaters tax penalties. At some point, there are reasonable limits that have to be considered.
“They bring in a lot of money,” the executive said. “They can do things most other teams can’t as far as keeping their talent in place. But even with that there are some limits. They made a choice with (Gary) Payton. They’re going to go through that again here.”
The Magic may not end up being alone in making an aggressive push to present Poole with an offer sheet next offseason. Many young teams with money to spend could use a boost in shot creation and Poole is among the best out there to consider.