2019 NBA free agency: Predicting where the top free agents will land

Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images /
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NBA free agency
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Nikola Vucevic: Orlando Magic

On the one hand, it feels like the perfect time for the Orlando Magic to let Nikola Vucevic go. The soon-to-be 29-year-old is coming off a career year after averaging 20.8 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game en route to his first All-Star appearance and first playoff series in Orlando.

Thanks to his expanded range (36.4 percent from 3 on 2.9 attempts per game), improved defense and career bests across the board, he’ll be looking for a max contract, or close to it. With the way he withered in the playoffs, his age and the fact that he’ll probably never be “the guy” for a contender, it’d make sense for Orlando to turn it over to Mohamed Bamba, Khem Birch and the future of this crowded frontcourt.

However, it doesn’t seem that’s the priority at the moment:

The Magic haven’t tasted success in quite some time, and even a first round playoff exit was a welcome step in the right direction. Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Mannix had previously reported Orlando is interested in re-signing both Vooch and Terrence Ross and anxious to see what their markets look like.

With other potential suitors like the Boston Celtics (their focus is elsewhere now), Los Angeles Lakers (bigger fish to fry) and Sacramento Kings (recent reports suggest they’re not actually interested) all likely to bow out, it seems safe to assume Vucevic will re-up in Orlando.