Archive for the ‘ Orlando Magic Blog ’ Category

The Oklahoma City Thunder has acquired guard Rodney Purvis from the Orlando Magic in exchange for center Dakari Johnson and cash considerations, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Purvis (6-4, 205) played in 16 games (two starts) last season and averaged 6.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 18.1 minutes per game.

Johnson, originally selected by Oklahoma City with the 48th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, appeared in 31 games (six starts) during the 2017-18 campaign, averaging 1.8 points and 1.1 rebounds in 5.2 minutes per contest.

Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that the team has acquired center Bismack Biyombo and two second-round draft picks from the Orlando Magic.

In a three-team trade with the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls, Charlotte received center Bismack Biyombo and two future second-round picks in the 2019 and 2020 NBA Drafts while sending Timofey Mozgov to the Magic and Julyan Stone to the Bulls.

Additionally, Orlando received guard Jerian Grant from Chicago in the deal.

Biyombo played in all 82 regular-season games with Orlando last season (25 starts), averaging 5.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and a team-high 1.2 blocks in 18.2 minutes per contest. With 95 blocked shots in 2017-18, he ranked 19th in the NBA. Biyombo scored in double figures 14 times, including a career-high 21 points at Washington on Jan. 12. He also recorded seven double-doubles last season.

The seventh-year center began his NBA career in Charlotte after being selected by Sacramento in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft and sent to Charlotte in a draft night trade. Biyombo has appeared in 529 career NBA regular-s‎eason games (210 starts) with Charlotte, Toronto and Orlando, averaging 5.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 20.9 minutes per game, while shooting .513 (992-1933) from the floor. He has also played in 23 career NBA playoff contests (11 starts), averaging 5.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 24.1 minutes per game.

Biyombo, who played for Charlotte from 2011-14, remains fifth in Hornets history in career blocks (443) and blocks per game (1.6), and ranks seventh in career offensive rebounds (571).

Mozgov was acquired by the Hornets in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets on July 6, 2018. Mozgov holds career averages of 6.8 points and 4.9 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game over the course of eight NBA seasons with the New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets.

Stone (6-6, 200) has played in the NBA for four seasons with career averages of 1.1 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. He went undrafted in 2011, but signed with the Denver Nuggets as a free agent and made his NBA debut on Jan. 11, 2012. Stone has also seen time with the Toronto Raptors (2013-14), and most recently with the Hornets, where he played in 23 games in the 2017-18 season. He also has G League experience with the Idaho Stampede, Iowa Energy and Greensboro Swarm.

The Orlando Magic have promoted Charles Freeman to President of Business Operations.

Freeman is entering his 23rd season with the team.

Freeman, who in mid 2015 received promotion to Chief Operating Officer, is responsible for oversight and management of tickets sales, premium sales, client services, ticket operations, corporate partnerships, marketing, arena operations, retail, philanthropy and social responsibility.

“Charlie has provided tremendous leadership in growing our business and is incredibly deserving of this promotion,” said Magic Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins. “On a daily basis, he lives our core values of community, innovation, legendary service and teamwork.”

Freeman started with the Magic in 1996 as a market research analyst for corporate sponsorship and broadcast sales. He was responsible for all research and strategic planning for the department.

This past year, Orlando posted its highest attendance average (17,915 per game) in the last seven years, while ranking No. 1 in in the NBA in group ticket sales and No. 3 in single-game ticket sales. The Magic also was named the 2018 NBA’s Retailer of the Year.

Additionally, the Magic renewed major ‘Champion of the Community’ corporate partners Walt Disney World, Florida Hospital and Harris, while adding RP Funding to the family. Under Freeman’s watch, the Magic became the first NBA team to launch VenueNext technology, a fully mobile platform to enhance the fan experience at the Amway Center.

Magic announce assistant coaching staff

The Orlando Magic have named Mike Batiste, Tyrone Corbin, Pat Delany, Steve Hetzel and Bruce Kreutzer assistant coaches, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today.

Batiste, Corbin, Delany, Hetzel and Kreutzer will serve on the coaching staff under Steve Clifford, who was named head coach of the Magic on May 30.

In addition, the Magic have added Rick Higgins as associate coach/player development, Mark Jenkins as assistant video coordinator and promoted Lionel Chalmers to head video coordinator.

Batiste joins Orlando after spending last season (2017-18) as an assistant coach with the Charlotte Hornets under Clifford. He came to Charlotte after serving as a player development assistant with the Brooklyn Nets in 2016-17 and two seasons (2014-16) as an assistant coach with the Canton Charge of the NBA G League.

Prior to his coaching career, Batiste played professionally for 14 seasons, including one season (2002-03) in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies. He spent 10 years with Panathinaikos of the Greek Basket League, helping lead the club to eight consecutive league championships and earning the league’s MVP award in 2010. Batiste also won three EuroLeague championships (2007, 2009 and 2011), garnered All-EuroLeague First Team honors in 2011 and was named All-EuroLeague Second Team in 2012. He also had professional stints with clubs in Belgium, Italy and Turkey.

Corbin comes to Orlando with nearly 30 years of NBA experience as both a player and a coach. Most recently, he spent the last two seasons (2016-18) as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns.

Prior to joining Phoenix, Corbin spent the 2014-15 campaign as an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings, before being named interim head coach for 28 games (7-21 record). He was relieved of his duties on February 12, 2015 and remained with the organization as an advisor.

Corbin began his coaching career with the Utah Jazz, joining the staff in 2004. He spent seven seasons (2004-11) as an assistant coach before succeeding Jerry Sloan as the team’s head coach in 2010-11. Corbin spent three-plus seasons (2011-14) as head coach of the Jazz, compiling a record of 112-146 (.434). Utah had a winning record in two of his three full seasons at the helm and made the NBA Playoffs in 2012.

Originally selected in the second round (35th overall) of the 1985 NBA Draft by San Antonio, Corbin played 16 seasons in the NBA. He appeared in 1,065 career regular season games (458 starts) with San Antonio, Cleveland, Phoenix, Minnesota, Utah, Atlanta, Sacramento, Miami and Toronto, averaging 9.2 ppg., 4.7 rpg., 1.8 apg. and 1.15 stlpg. in 26.0 minpg. Corbin also played in 81 career playoff games (43 starts), averaging 8.4 ppg., 5.0 rpg. and 1.4 apg. in 27.5 minpg.

Delany joins Orlando after spending four seasons (2014-18) as an assistant coach with the Charlotte Hornets under Clifford. He came to Charlotte after spending the 2013-14 campaign as head coach of the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA G League. During his lone season with Sioux Falls, Delany led the Skyforce to a 31-19 record, tied for the second-best mark in the league and posted the fifth-best winning percentage in the franchise’s 25-year history.

Hetzel comes to Orlando after spending four seasons (2014-18) as an assistant coach with the Charlotte Hornets under Clifford. He joined Charlotte after spending the 2013-14 campaign as head coach of the Canton Charge of the NBA G League. During his lone season with Canton, Hetzel led the Charge to a 28-22 record, finishing second in the East division and posted the second-best winning percentage in franchise history.

Kreutzer comes to Orlando after spending three seasons (2015-18) as an assistant coach with the Charlotte Hornets under Clifford. He joined Charlotte after serving as a shooting consultant for the NBA G League (2008-11) and Philadelphia 76ers (2008-10).

Orlando Magic waive Shelvin Mack

The Orlando Magic have waived guard Shelvin Mack.

Mack played in 69 games (three starts) last season with the Magic, and averaged 6.9 ppg., 3.9 apg. and 2.4 rpg. in 19.8 minutes per outing. His assists-to-turnover ratio of 3.06 (272/89) ranked 11th in the NBA.

Originally drafted in the second round (34th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft by Washington, Mack has appeared in 399 regular season games (53 starts) during his NBA career with Washington, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Utah and Orlando, averaging 6.4 ppg., 3.1 apg. and 2.0 rpg. in 17.9 minpg.

Magic draft Mohamed Bamba 6th overall

The Orlando Magic on Thursday selected center Mohamed Bamba in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2018 NBA Draft.

Bamba (7’0”, 225, 5/12/98) played in 30 games (29 starts) last season (2017-18) as a freshman at the University of Texas, averaging 12.9 ppg., 10.5 rpg. and 3.70 blkpg. in 30.2 minpg., while shooting .541 (146-270) from the floor. He led the Big 12 in rebounding, blocked shots (also ranked second in the nation) and double-doubles (15). Bamba was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team, the All-Big 12 Second Team and the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team.

Bamba scored in double figures 23 times and had 20+ points four times, including a career-high 25 points on Jan. 27 vs. Mississippi. He pulled down 10+ rebounds 19 times. Bamba blocked three-or-more shots 22 times, including a career-high eight blocks on Dec. 29 vs. Kansas.

While at Westtown High School in West Chester, Pa., Bamba captured back-to-back Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association state championships as both a junior (2015-16) and a senior (2016-17). As a senior, he averaged 12.8 ppg., 9.3 rpg. and 3.4 blkpg., and earned both McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American honors. Bamba was one of five finalists for the Naismith National High School Player of the Year.

The Orlando Magic have named Ernest Eugene head athletic trainer, Luke Storey head strength and conditioning coach, Sameer Mehta physical therapist and Nathan Spencer performance and rehabilitation coach, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today.

In addition, Christian Espinoza, who served as an intern last season, has been promoted to full-time as assistant athletic trainer. Chad Gerhard (applied sports scientist) and Aki Tajima (athletic trainer/manual therapist) will remain on the staff.

Eugene joins Orlando after spending four seasons (2014-18) as assistant athletics director for sports medicine at Virginia Tech. He came to Virginia Tech following six seasons (2008-14) as the athletics trainer for the men’s basketball program at Marquette University, where he was promoted to director of sports medicine during his final year.

Storey comes to Orlando after spending more than five years (2013-18) at Peak Performance Project (P3), a sports performance facility that utilizes advanced sports science technologies to assess and train professional athletes.

Mehta comes to Orlando after spending 12 years at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. He joined MedStar in March 2006 as a physical therapist, then spent the last six years as clinical supervisor/outpatient physical therapy.

Spencer joins Orlando after spending three seasons (2015-18) as head strength and conditioning coach with the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League in Australia. Prior to his time with Illawarra, he was a strength and conditioning coach in professional rugby.

Steve Clifford, who helped lead the Orlando Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals as an assistant coach and has more than 30 years of coaching experience at the NBA and collegiate level, has been named the team’s head coach, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today. Clifford becomes the 14th head coach in franchise history.

Clifford returns to Orlando after spending the previous five seasons (2013-18) as head coach of the Charlotte Hornets. He was named Charlotte’s head coach on May 29, 2013 and compiled a record of 196-214 (.478). Clifford led Charlotte to the NBA Playoffs in two of his first four seasons at the helm after the team qualified for the postseason just once in the previous 10 seasons.

“We are very excited to welcome Steve (Clifford) back into the Magic family,” Weltman said. “Steve is widely regarded throughout the NBA community as an elite coach and developer of players at all stages. His teams have always been disciplined and prepared, and have embraced the concept of playing for each other.”

During Clifford’s first season in Charlotte (2013-14), the team saw a 22-win improvement from the previous season, finishing 43-39 and earning a playoff berth for the first time since 2009-10. In 2015-16, the Hornets went 48-34, their best record since 1999-2000. Charlotte again made the NBA Playoffs, eventually falling in seven games to third-seeded Miami.

A native of Island Falls, Maine, Clifford arrived in Charlotte after spending the 2012-13 season as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, first under Mike Brown and then under Mike D’Antoni.

Prior to the Lakers, Clifford spent five seasons as an assistant coach with Orlando from 2007-12. As a member of Stan Van Gundy’s staff, he helped the Magic to a 259-135 record (.657) and five straight playoff appearances, including a trip to the 2009 NBA Finals. The team won 50 games or more in four straight seasons from 2007-11, winning three consecutive Southeast Division titles (2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10).

Before going to Orlando, Clifford spent four seasons as an assistant coach under Jeff Van Gundy with the Houston Rockets from 2003-07. He began his NBA career with the New York Knicks, serving as the team’s advance scout in 2000-01 before moving to the bench as an assistant coach from 2001-03.

Prior to the NBA, Clifford spent 15 years coaching at the collegiate level, including four years as head coach at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York from 1995-99. He posted a record of 86-36 (.705) at Adelphi, leading the school to four straight 20-win seasons, becoming the first coach in school history to record consecutive 20-win campaigns, and four straight appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament. His winning percentage remains the second-best of the 12 head coaches in the program’s 65-year history.

Clifford began his college coaching career at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, where he spent four seasons as an assistant coach. He then served as an assistant coach for one year at Fairfield University, four seasons at Boston University and one season at Siena University before becoming the head coach at Adelphi. Clifford also spent one season as an assistant coach at East Carolina University in 1999-2000 before moving to the NBA.

Clifford’s first coaching experience came at Woodland High School in Maine, where he coached for two seasons after graduating from the University of Maine at Farmington with a degree in special education. He played four years for the Beavers, being named Best Defensive Player in his final two seasons while serving as team captain.

Orlando Magic fire coach Frank Vogel

Orlando Magic fire coach Frank Vogel

Frank Vogel has been dismissed as head coach of the Orlando Magic, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today.

“We would like to thank Frank for his contributions to the Orlando Magic,” said Weltman. “We appreciate the sacrifices he made as head coach and certainly wish him and his family well going forward.”

Vogel was named the Magic’s 13th head coach on May 20, 2016. During his two seasons in Orlando, the Magic compiled a record of 54-110 (.329 win pct.). The Magic finished the 2017-18 season with a 25-57 record.

Prior to joining the Orlando Magic, Vogel served as the head coach of the Indiana Pacers from 2011-16 and has a career NBA regular season record of 304-291 (.511 win pct.).

Per the Orlando Sentinel, “Buoyed by far above-average shooting, the Magic opened their 2017-18 season with an 8-4 record. But the team struggled once its schedule toughened and it faced a staggering array of injuries to key players. From Nov. 11 through Jan. 12, Orlando posted a 4-27 record, and its playoff hopes evaporated.”

More from the Sentinel: “Vogel and his supporters can make a case that the roster he inherited upon his arrival in 2016 wasn’t good enough to contend for a playoff spot. Also, few substantial changes were made following the 2016-17 season. Making matters worse, during the 2017-18 season, Magic players combined to miss a total of 227 games due to injuries or illnesses.”

The Orlando Magic have signed guard Rodney Purvis for the remainder of the 2017-18 regular season, the team announced yesterday.

Purvis (6’4”, 205, 2/14/94) has played in six games with Orlando, averaging 6.3 ppg. in 13.7 minpg. He has led (or tied) the team in scoring once and netted a career-high 19 points on Mar. 22 vs. Philadelphia. Purvis appeared and started in 39 games this season for the Lakeland Magic, Orlando’s NBA G League affiliate, averaging 20.5 ppg., 3.9 rpg., 3.4 apg. and 1.38 stlpg. in 38.1 minpg. He finished the season second in the NBA G League in minutes played and tied for fifth in scoring. Purvis led (or tied) the team in scoring 17 times and in assists 10 times. He scored 30+ points four times, including a season-high 40 points on Dec. 21 @ Westchester.

Purvis was selected to participate in the USA World Cup Qualifying Team training camp Feb. 15-20 and the G League International Challenge on Feb 18. After camp, Purvis was then selected to the 12-man team for the USA’s World Cup Qualifying first round, second-window games, including Cuba on Feb. 23 and Puerto Rico on Feb. 26 in Santa Cruz, Calif., where he averaged 13 ppg. in 23.0 minpg., while shooting 50 percent from the field. The FIBA World Cup Qualifying games are being used to qualify 31 of the 32 nations that will compete in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Purvis played in 137 career games (100 starts) during four years at both North Carolina State (2012-13) and the University of Connecticut (2014-17), averaging 11.6 ppg., 3.0 rpg. and 1.8 apg. in 29.1 minpg. Last season, he appeared in 33 games (32 starts), averaging 13.8 ppg., 4.2 rpg., 2.5 apg. and 1.03 stlpg. in 36.9 minpg. As a sophomore (2014-15), Purvis led the Huskies in scoring during the postseason, averaging 17.8 ppg., and was named to the 2015 American Athletic Conference’s All-Tournament Team.

The Orlando Magic signed guard Rodney Purvis to a second 10-day contract today.

Purvis (6’4”, 205, 2/14/94) has played in five games with Orlando, averaging 3.8 ppg. in 11.5 minpg. He appeared and started in 37 games this season for the Lakeland Magic, Orlando’s NBA G League affiliate, averaging 20.5 ppg., 4.0 rpg., 3.5 apg. and 1.35 stlpg. in 38.5 minpg. Purvis led the team in scoring 17 times and in assists 10 times. He scored in double figures 34 times and had 30+ points four times, including a season-high 40 points on Dec. 21 @ Westchester.

Purvis was selected to participate in the USA World Cup Qualifying Team training camp Feb. 15-20 and the G League International Challenge on Feb 18. After camp, Purvis was then selected to the 12-man team for the USA’s World Cup Qualifying first round, second-window games, including Cuba on Feb. 23 and Puerto Rico on Feb. 26 in Santa Cruz, Calif., where he averaged 13 ppg. in 23.0 minpg., while shooting 50 percent from the field. The FIBA World Cup Qualifying games are being used to qualify 31 of the 32 nations that will compete in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Purvis played in 137 career games (100 starts) during four years at both North Carolina State (2012-13) and the University of Connecticut (2014-17), averaging 11.6 ppg., 3.0 rpg. and 1.8 apg. in 29.1 minpg. Last season, he appeared in 33 games (32 starts), averaging 13.8 ppg., 4.2 rpg., 2.5 apg. and 1.03 stlpg. in 36.9 minpg. As a sophomore (2014-15), Purvis led the Huskies in scoring during the postseason, averaging 17.8 ppg., and was named to the 2015 American Athletic Conference’s All-Tournament Team.

The Orlando Magic signed guard Rodney Purvis to a 10-day contract today.

Purvis (6’4”, 205, 2/14/94) has played and started in 37 games this season for the Lakeland Magic, Orlando’s NBA G League affiliate, averaging 20.5 ppg., 4.0 rpg., 3.5 apg. and 1.35 stlpg. in 38.5 minpg. As of March 7, he ranks eighth in the NBA G League in points per game and second in minutes per game. He has led the team in scoring 17 times and in assists 10 times. The first-year player out of Connecticut has reached double figures in 34 games and has scored 30 points four times, including a season-high 40 points on Dec. 21, 2017 at Westchester.

Purvis was recently selected to participate in the USA World Cup Qualifying Team training camp Feb. 15-20 and the G League International Challenge on Feb 18. After training camp, Purvis was then selected to the 12-man team for the USA’s World Cup Qualifying first round, second-window games, including Cuba on Feb. 23 and Puerto Rico on Feb. 26 in Santa Cruz, Calif., where he averaged 13 ppg. in 23.0 minpg., while shooting 50 percent from the field. The FIBA World Cup Qualifying games are being used to qualify 31 of the 32 nations that will compete in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Purvis played in 137 career games (100 starts) during four years at both North Carolina State (2012-13) and the University of Connecticut (2014-17), averaging 11.6 ppg., 3.0 rpg. and 1.8 apg. in 29.1 minpg. Last season, he appeared in 33 games (32 starts), averaging 13.8 ppg., 4.2 rpg., 2.5 apg. and 1.03 stlpg. in 36.9 minpg. As a sophomore (2014-15), Purvis led the Huskies in scoring during the postseason, averaging 17.8 ppg., and was named to the 2015 American Athletic Conference’s All-Tournament Team.

Purvis will wear No. 15 with Orlando.

The Magic roster now stands at 17 players.

The Magic today signed guard Rashad Vaughn to a second 10-day contract.

Vaughn was originally signed as a free agent to a 10-day contract on Feb. 20.

Vaughn (#20, 6’6”, 210, 8/16/96) has played in a combined 27 games this season with Milwaukee, Brooklyn and Orlando, averaging 2.4 ppg. in 7.5 minpg. He has appeared in four games with the Magic, averaging 1.3 ppg. in 6.2 minpg. Prior to signing with Orlando, Vaughn was traded by Milwaukee to Brooklyn, along with a second round draft pick, in exchange for Tyler Zeller on Feb. 5. He was then traded by the Nets to New Orleans in exchange for Dante Cunningham on Feb. 8. Vaughn was waived by the Pelicans on Feb. 10.

Originally selected in the first round (17th overall) of the 2015 NBA Draft by Milwaukee, Vaughn has appeared in 134 career NBA regular season games (eight starts) with Milwaukee and Brooklyn, averaging 3.1 ppg. and 1.1 rpg. in 12.2 minpg. Prior to his NBA career, he spent one season at UNLV (2014-15), averaging 17.8 ppg., 4.8 rpg. and 1.6 apg. in 32.3 minpg., while shooting .383 (54-141) from three-point range. Vaughn was named 2014-15 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year, as well as Honorable Mention All-MWC.

The Magic today signed guard Rashad Vaughn to a 10-day contract.

The 6’6”, 210-pound Vaughn, born 8/16/96, has played in a combined 23 games this season with both Mthe Bucks and Nets, averaging 2.6 points in 7.7 minutes per game. He was traded by Milwaukee to Brooklyn, along with a second round draft pick, in exchange for Tyler Zeller on Feb. 5. Vaughn was then traded by the Nets to New Orleans in exchange for Dante Cunningham on Feb. 8. He was waived by the Pelicans on Feb. 10.

Originally selected in the first round (17th overall) of the 2015 NBA Draft by Milwaukee, Vaughn has appeared in 134 career NBA regular season games (eight starts) with Milwaukee and Brooklyn, averaging 3.1 ppg. and 1.1 rpg. in 12.2 minpg. Prior to his NBA career, he spent one season at UNLV (2014-15), averaging 17.8 ppg., 4.8 rpg. and 1.6 apg. in 32.3 minpg., while shooting .383 (54-141) from three-point range. Vaughn was named 2014-15 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year, as well as Honorable Mention All-MWC.

The Magic’s roster now stands at 16 players.

Vaughn will wear #20 with Orlando.

The Phoenix Suns today waived guard Isaiah Canaan, then completed a trade to acquire point guard Elfrid Payton from the Orlando Magic in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick via Memphis.

“We are excited to add a player of Elfrid’s caliber to our young core,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “Elfrid is an athletic point guard who has good size, length and a feel for the game. We think he’ll be a great fit with our team and we look forward to seeing him in a Suns uniform.”

In his fourth NBA season, Payton is averaging a career-high 13.0 points shooting career bests of 52.0 percent from the field (23rd in the NBA) and 37.3 percent from three-point range. In addition, he is averaging 6.3 assists (14th in the NBA), 4.0 rebounds and 1.45 steals (24th in the NBA) in 44 games. Payton is one of just three players in the NBA this season averaging at least six assists while shooting over 50 percent from the field along with LeBron James and Ben Simmons, and also joins James and Simmons as the only three players to rank in the top 25 in assists, steals and field goal percentage.

Payton holds career averages of 11.1 points, 6.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.36 steals in 281 games, starting 234. The Magic’s all-time franchise leader with eight career triple-doubles, he scored a career-high 30 points earlier this season on December 23 at Washington. Currently exceeding six assists per game for the fourth straight season, Payton is the first NBA player since Chris Paul from 2005-2009 to average at least six assists in each of his first four NBA seasons.

The 6-4, 185-pound floor general was originally the 10th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers before being traded to the Magic on draft night. Named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2015, Payton twice participated in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend.

A native of Gretna, Louisiana, Payton starred collegiately at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for three seasons from 2011-2014. He won the 2013-14 Lefty Driesell Award given annually to the nation’s top defensive player and represented USA Basketball at the 2013 FIBA Under-19 World Championship in Czech Republic, starting all nine games to help lead the U.S. to a 9-0, gold-medal finish.

The second-round pick heading to Orlando was originally secured by the Suns along with guard Troy Daniels in a deal with the Grizzlies on September 22, 2017. The pick to be conveyed will be the second most favorable selection of Memphis, Charlotte or Miami’s 2018 second-round picks.

Payton will wear uniform No. 2.

“We still consider Isaiah to be a member of the Phoenix Suns family,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “In speaking with Isaiah and his agent, we are fully committed to doing everything we can to help him with his rehab and recovery from his injury. This move is being made strictly to create a roster spot with Isaiah being out for the remainder of the season.”

In his fifth NBA season, Canaan initially signed with the Suns on December 13 and averaged 9.1 points and 4.0 assists in 19 games with the team. He recorded 10 games scoring in double digits with the Suns, including a season-high 17 points in a win at Dallas on December 18. On January 31, Canaan sustained a fractured left ankle in the first quarter against the Mavericks then underwent successful surgery in Phoenix on February 1.

The Suns’ roster stands at 17 players

Terrence Ross out with multiple injuries

After further evaluation, including an MRI, Orlando Magic guard/forward Terrence Ross has been diagnosed with a sprained right medial collateral ligament (MCL) and a non-displaced fracture of his right tibial plateau, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced. Ross suffered the injury at the 4:38 mark of the second quarter during last night’s victory over Oklahoma City.

He will be out indefinitely and miss a significant amount of time. His return to play will depend on how the injury heals and how he responds to treatment.

Ross (6’7”, 206, 2/5/91) has played in all 22 games this season for Orlando (20 starts), averaging 9.0 ppg., 3.2 rpg., 1.6 apg. and 1.23 stlpg. in 26.2 minpg. He has scored in double figures nine times and had 20+ points once, including a season-high 22 points on Nov. 22 @ Minnesota.

Summer bball action will change a bit in 2018. The Orlando Magic won’t be holding their usual league, which means the already-dominant main NBA-run league in Vegas will presumably become even bigger. Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting:

The Orlando Magic will not hold their annual summer league in Orlando next year and will participate instead in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, team officials told the Orlando Sentinel.

The decision is a radical departure for the Magic, who ran and managed their own summer league in Central Florida 14 times since 2002…

Eight teams participated in the Orlando Pro Summer League this year and played five games apiece. In addition to the Magic, the other teams were the Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Full article

Magic sign Jamel Artis to two-way contract

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard Jamel Artis to a two-way contract.

Artis (#0, 6’7”, 215, 1/12/93) played in 135 career games (98 starts) during four years at the University of Pittsburgh, averaging 12.6 ppg., 4.6 rpg. and 2.3 apg. in 27.6 minpg., while shooting .378 (170-450) from three-point range. He finished his career as one of only three players in Pitt history to record at least 1,600 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists. Artis was named Third Team All-ACC by the coaches in 2014-15 and earned All-ACC Academic Team honors in 2013-14. As a senior (2016-17), he played in 32 games (31 starts), averaging 18.2 ppg., 4.9 rpg. and 3.3 apg. in 34.3 minpg. On Jan. 11, 2017 @ Louisville, Artis poured in a career-high 43 points.

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to sign two players to two-way contracts in addition to the 15-man regular-season roster. A two-way player for Orlando will provide services to the team’s G League affiliate – the Lakeland Magic – but can spend up to 45 days with Orlando, not including any time prior to the start of Lakeland’s training camp and at the conclusion of their season.

Magic waive Kalin Lucas and Damjan Rudez

The Orlando Magic have waived guard Kalin Lucas and forward Damjan Rudez (DAHM-yahn ROO dezh), President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today.

Rudež appeared in four games during the preseason with the Magic, averaging 0.8 ppg. in 8.8 minpg. He played in 45 outings last season with Orlando, averaging 1.8 ppg. in 7.0 minpg. Rudež was originally signed as a free agent on Septemner 8, 2016.

Lucas played in five games during the preseason with Orlando, averaging 2.0 ppg. in 6.7 minpg. He was originally signed as a free agent on August 31, 2017.

Orlando’s roster now stands at 16 players.

The Orlando Magic have waived guards Troy Caupain (CO-pain) and Rodney Purvis, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today. Orlando’s roster now stands at 18 players (see below).

Caupain and Purvis did not appear in any preseason games with the Magic. Caupain was originally signed as a free agent on August 31, while Purvis was signed as a free agent on October 9.

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