Before the 2021-22 season began, it was clear that the Orlando Magic was prioritizing the development of its young players.
This was the expected direction after it began rebuilding in the middle of last season centered around young talent. Most of the Magic’s rosters entering the season were first-round draft picks — including six former lottery picks from 2017 — aged 24 or younger.
The result of that approach was not only giving more opportunities to those young players on the field, but also giving more chances to unscrupulous players to prove themselves.
Players like Ignas Brzedekis, who played a career-high 536 minutes in 42 games on a two-way contract. Brzedekis, who had a season-long average of 5.1 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.8 minutes, averaged 10.3 points (46.7% shooting) and 2.9 rebounds in 23 minutes in his last 12 games.
Or Admiral Scofield. He was among a quartet of players who the Magic signed 10-day contracts from the organisation’s G League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic, through hardship exceptions in mid-December, as the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols included several The players were kept. Schofield signed several 10-day deals before signing a two-way contract in early January, averaging 3.8 points in 12.3 minutes.
Devin Kennedy was the latest to take advantage of his earned opportunity. Kennedy joined the Magic on a 10-day deal from the Lackland Magic on March 31, before signing the standard contract on the final day of the season, averaging 10 points in five games (40.5% at 3-pointers).
What made the trio’s chances with the Magic this season so valuable they understand they are not guaranteed.
Brzedekis was picked out of Michigan by the Sacramento Kings in the second round (47th overall) of the 2019 Draft before joining the Magic at the end of the 2020-21 season, playing a combined 14 NBA games with the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers had gone.
Schofield had a similar route to Brzedeikis, who was selected from Tennessee in the second round of the 2019 draft (42nd overall) by the 76ers before being immediately traded to the Washington Wizards. He played 33 games (two starts) for the Wizards during the 2019–20 season, but before this season most of Scofield’s playing time came in the G League (Capital City Go-Go and Greensboro Swarm).
Candy dropped out of Princeton in 2019, spending the 2019-20 season with the Long Island Nets, the G League team of the Brooklyn Nets. He began the 2020–21 season with Lakeland before signing a 10-day deal with Orlando on April 6, 2021. Kennedy signed a two-way deal later that month, but that opportunity was cut short after suffering an open fracture of his right. ankle and was later forgiven.
“You talk about the opportunity for these youngsters and how grateful they are to play the sport we love,” said Magic coach Jamahal Mosley. “Sometimes it is taken for granted. For [Cannady]This is your opportunity to show that this is work you have done and are being rewarded for it and to be grateful for every moment that he courts. ,
Brazdeikis’ and Schofield’s two-way deals ended. The Magic have until June 29 to make qualifying offers for Brzedekis and Schofield to be banned free agents.
Cannady’s deal, which was first reported by the Orlando Sentinels as a partially guaranteed multi-year contract, is for three years but non-guaranteed for the 2022–23 and 2023–24 seasons. According to Sportrack, their guaranteed date for the 2022–23 season is January 10, 2023.
One of two Canadian players with a non-guaranteed deal for the next season.
Mo Wagner, who averaged 9 points and 3.7 rebounds in a career-high 63 games, will have a guaranteed $1.9 million salary for the 2022-23 season if he is on the roster before June 30. Wagner has played for the Los Angeles Lakers and Wizards. , since being a first-round pick in the Boston Celtics and Magic 2018.
The amount of strides they have made, there is little guarantee for these Magic players next season. The conditions in which they are used to and under which they thrive.