With the Orlando Magic set to open training on September 27th, the list of players the team will be bringing to training camp is beginning to be finalized.
The Magic will bring 19 players in total into training camp, one under the NBA’s maximum amount of players allowed. 13 of the 19 will be players under contract with the team for next season, while the final six will be fighting for the remaining two roster spots.
According to the Orlando Sentinel’s Brian Schmitz, the team has extended camp invites to guards Nick Johnson and Kevin Murphy, swingman Damjan Rudez, and big men Branden Dawson, Cliff Alexander and Arinze Onuwaku.
Magic camp invitees: Nick Johnson, Kevin Murphy, Branden Dawson, Cliff Alexander, Arinze Onuaka, Damjan Rudez.— Brian K. Schmitz (@MagicInsider) September 7, 2016
Johnson, along with Murphy and Onuwaku played for the Magic during July’s Orlando Pro Summer League, showing upside that could make them intriguing additions to the roster. Johnson, an undersized combo guard from Arizona, led the Magic’s Blue team, while Murphy and Onuwaku helped spearhead the Magic’s White team’s run to the championship.
With a need for more three-point shooting, and wing depth, the likes of Murphy and Rudez, who has had the best games of his career against the Magic, are the likely front runners to win those two spots. Murphy, who had a brief stint with the Utah Jazz in 2012/13, is known as solid scorer, while Rudez is mostly known for his prowess from beyond the arc. Across 101 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Indiana Pacers, Rudez is a career 39.1 percent three-point shooter, which would be a welcome sign for a Magic team looking for all the shooting they can get.
The likes of Dawson, Alexander and Onuwaku are likely facing an uphill battle to make the roster. Despite being one of, if not the most dominant player on the boards during the week long Summer League, Onuwaku’s undersized, and with the depth the Magic already have in a crowded front court, would likely be passed up for someone to help with a more immediate need.
For Dawson and Alexander the invite to camp may be more for the team to hold their NBA Developmental League rights. Should they waive both, the team could claim them and send them to the Erie BayHawks, giving them the first chance to call one of them up during the season. More time to develop would be big for both of them, including Alexander who left the University of Kansas after one unsuccessful year.
The Magic will open up training camp festivities on September 26th with Media Day, with training camp itself set to open the 27th.