The Orlando Magic dipped into free agency for veteran leadership. Two-time NBA champion Kentavious Caldwell-Pope left the Denver Nuggets and joined the Magic on a three-year $66 million deal. Orlando earned a five-seed in the NBA playoffs this season after Paolo Banchero took off in his second year in the league. Banchero lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in seven games, but with an arms race in the Eastern Conference, the Magic made their move.

Caldwell-Pope spent two years with the Nuggets, winning a championship in his first season with the team. He averaged just over ten points a game in 2023-24 but made his impact with defense and leadership as he recorded 1.3 steals and 0.6 blockers per game. Denver faces a cap crunch and let go of Bruce Brown last offseason even after he became a crucial cog in their championship run. Caldwell-Pope, forced to move on, left for greener pastures as he inks the largest contract of his career. The 11-year veteran out of Georgia travels to his fifth team. He started his career with the Detroit Pistons and spent one season in Washington.

Las Vegas loves this signing, as shown by the Magic’s odds moving down from +7000 to +5000, according to FanDuel. Banchero proved he could be a go-to scorer in the playoffs, and the young core of Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs has improved after each season. Although they missed out on Paul George, Orlando still has plenty of cap space to make another move.

According to Spotrac, they own the fifth most cap space in the NBA and could make their way toward max cap space with a few moves. The team benefits from Banchero and Wagener, who are still on cheap rookie contracts, so their window is now. Orlando has never won an NBA championship in their franchise history, and their playoff appearance in 2024 was their first in three seasons.

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