NBA free agency 2013: How well did the Magic spend their money?

Jason Maxiell - USA TODAY Sports

Orlando made only two free-agent additions in the offseason. Did it spend wisely?

The Orlando Magic completed their free-agent signings in short order, adding two eight-year veterans on affordable, two-year deals. Though the team will surely invite some additional free agents to training camp, they are exceptionally unlikely to make the team's opening-day roster.

To that end, it's fair to ask if the Magic got good value out of their free-agent dollars. The only avenues available to them were the mid-level exception, the bi-annual exception, and minimum-salary contracts. Let's take a look at the moves they made and how they compare to the rest of the market.

Mid-level exception

The Magic spent $2.5 million of their mid-level exception on Jason Maxiell, with an unguaranteed second season also worth $2.5 million. The 30-year-old addresses Orlando's need for a stout interior defender with shot-blocking skills, and he should fit nicely into Glen Davis' role on both ends of the floor. That second point is important, given that Davis might not be ready for the start of the regular season.

Here's a look at some other free-agent bigs who signed deals in Maxiell's price range. Salary data is from ShamSports.com.

DeJuan Blair, Marcus Camby, Austin Daye, and Byron Mullens signed minimum-salary contracts.

Some unsigned bigs in this price range or lower are Lou Amundson, Hamed Haddadi, Dwayne Jones, Kevin Jones, Malcolm Thomas, Tyrus Thomas, and D.J. White.

Given these names and the salaries for which they signed, it's tough to argue that Orlando overpaid on Maxiell. Whether he's a great fit in Orlando is another question entirely. I would have preferred the Magic to pursue a power forward with three-point range, as Orlando will likely struggle to space the floor in 2013/14. From that standpoint, Copeland, Mullens, and Daye would have made sense for the Magic.

But Maxiell, as I said, helps the Magic's interior defense, particularly with his shot-blocking. It's clear that Rob Hennigan, the Magic's general manager, prioritized that skill over outside shooting, and Orlando's interior defense was indeed nightmarish in its 62-loss 2012/13 season.

Stiemsma and Turiaf signed more cheaply than Maxiell did and have skill-sets similar to his, but again, it's hard to argue that Maxiell was a reach at $2.5 million.

Bi-annual exception

The Magic didn't use their bi-annual exception, keeping it available for the summer of 2014 if needed.

To illustrate what the bi-annual market looked like in 2013, here are three players who signed for that amount. Coincidentally, all are point guards.

Given that teams can only use the bi-annual exception once every two seasons--it's right there in the name--it makes sense that the Magic would want to preserve theirs. There's little sense in spending too much for a losing team. The three players above are all veterans who joined teams with playoff aspirations.

Minimum salary

Ronnie Price joined the Magic with a two-year deal worth $2.6 million, the lowest amount the Magic can pay him under the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement. He may not play very much--or even dress, on some nights, depending on the team's overall health--but the Magic needed another point guard behind Jameer Nelson. The second season of Price's contract is not guaranteed, so there's a chance that he won't return for the 2014/15 season.

Here are some other point guards who, like Price, signed for less than the bi-annual exception in the offseason.

Devin Harris, Shaun Livingston, Beno Udrih, and Earl Watson all signed minimum-salary deals, though they might not have been willing to accept such a low-dollar offer from the Magic or any other rebuilding team.

Rodrigue Beaubois, Scott Machado, Darius Morris, A.J. Price, Josh Selby, Sebastian Telfair, and Jamaal Tinsley are a few of the remaining unsigned point guards in this price range.

It's fair to say that a lot of Magic fans would have preferred Hennigan to sign a player younger than Price here, a player with more upside and potential. Indeed, several younger point guards--including Buycks and Douglas--signed in Price's price range. For Orlando, the choice must have come down to priorities. Experience and character trumped potential, in this case, and I'm not sure that call was wise.

If you were Hennigan, how would you have spent your free-agent money?

We invite you to follow Orlando Pinstriped Post on Twitter and like Orlando Pinstriped Post on Facebook.

More from Orlando Pinstriped Post:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Orlando Pinstriped Post

You must be a member of Orlando Pinstriped Post to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Orlando Pinstriped Post. You should read them.

Join Orlando Pinstriped Post

You must be a member of Orlando Pinstriped Post to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Orlando Pinstriped Post. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker