NBA Free Agency: 3 reasons why Nikola Vucevic should not have re-signed with Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic president of operations Jeff Weltman said in April that bringing back the 2019 NBA All-Star Nikola Vucevic, who entered free agency this summer, is one of the top priorities of this franchise.
Lo and behold, as per The Athletic and Stadium NBA reporter Shams Charania, Nikola Vucevic signed a 4-year $100 million contract with the Orlando Magic when the free agency officially began on June 30th, 6 PM ET (July 1st, 3:30 AM IST).
The demand in the free agency market for a floor-stretching big man like Vucevic was really high and given his All-Star status, he had offers from all the big market teams like the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers to name a few.
Let's discuss 3 reasons why Nikola Vucevic should have tested the free agency market and not re-signed with the Orlando Magic:
#3 Nikola Vucevic could have made more money elsewhere
After his All-Star season with the Orlando Magic, in a contract year, where Vucevic averaged 20.8 points and 12 rebounds a game, he was set to earn a big payday in the 2019 offseason, when he was going to become a free agent.
Vucevic even led the Magic to their first postseason since 2011-12, something which improved his chances of landing a maximum contract in the off-season. Vucevic was earning $12.5 million in his final season with the Magic and was in for a big payday.
The Dallas Mavericks were in a position to offer Nikola Vucevic a massive 4-year $140.6 million max deal, provided they signed him first and then signed their Latvian center, Kristaps Porzingis, something which was expected to happen and Porzingis was supposedly okay with this as well.
The Los Angeles Lakers also have over $30 million in cap space and were looking to poach Vucevic and make him their 3rd star, if they were unable to sign Kawhi Leonard or any of the top free agents. Vucevic would have had a big pay and also would have joined instant title contenders on a big market team in the Lakers.
The Sacramento Kings too had around $28 million in cap space even after bringing back Harrison Barnes and Willie Cauley-Stein (who they are undecided about). Vucevic would have become the calming presence alongside Barnes on a young Kings team poised to break out and could have earned big bucks as well.
Yet, Vucevic decided to re-sign with the Orlando Magic on a 4-year, $100 million deal, which all of these teams could have potentially offered him. It seems like a bizarre decision to take lesser money and not be able to contend for a title as the Orlando Magic will not be able to compete with teams in the Eastern Conference like the Toronto Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks.