As the NBA season winds down, rumors begin to swirl about where potential free agents could land during the summer. After making a pair of moves during the NBA's trading deadline to cut salary, the Orlando Magic are front and center in one of those rumors.
According to a report from ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon, the Dallas Mavericks expect the Magic to be one of the teams to make a strong push for Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons, who has the ability to opt out of the final year of a three-year, $46 million deal he signed with the Mavericks two summers ago.
In his report, MacMahon, citing people close to the situation, says the Magic will be the biggest threat to the Mavericks in taking the 27-year-olds services this offseason. Parsons, who grew up in Orlando, attended Lake Howell High School in Orlando, and went on to star for the Florida Gators in nearby Gainesville for four years.
The fact that the Magic could have interest in Parsons should be no surprise.
With the potential to have upwards of $45 million in cap space this summer, the Magic would have the ability to offer Parsons, and potentially one other free agent, a max contract sheet. Parsons, who is considered a "strong recruiter" in many NBA circles, could help bring the Magic a second impact free agent this summer, should he choose to come to Orlando.
Adding the versatile forward would give the Magic another play maker on the wing, and someone who could fit in next to Aaron Gordon, Mario Hezonja, Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton moving forward. His ability to play multiple positions, handle the ball, and score at a high level would give the Magic an element they're desperately lacking.
While the rumors swirl, Parsons is electing to not comment on his potential pending free agency, focusing on the season at hand right now.
If the salary cap rises to the projected $89 million -- one source said the cap could reach as much as $92 for next season -- a four-year, max offer from the Magic would start at around $90 million overall, with Parsons earning north of $20 million per season. With contract extensions for Evan Fournier and Oladipo looming, as well as Gordon and Payton after, the Magic would need to decide it paying Parsons that much would improve them to the level they hope to be at.
Parsons is one of the first of many names the Magic will inevitably be linked to in the coming months. With cap space, and a need to improve, the Magic will be busy this offseason.