The Orlando Magic are making moves that might have some people shaking their heads, including giving over $2 million to the nine-year veteran.
The offseason is still a busy one across the NBA for all teams, including the Orlando Magic. While teams are making blockbuster trades, including Chris Paul being sent from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Houston Rockets, the Magic have gone out and signed one of CP3’s former teammates in Clip City.
Nope, not Blake Griffin. Nope, not DeAndre Jordan. Ladies and gentlemen, the newest member of the Orlando Magic is Marreese Speights!
The team announced Thursday, as reported by ESPN.com, they were signing the veteran, who will turn 30 this year during his 10th season in the NBA, to a deal for the veteran minimum — which is around $2.1 million for a one year deal. The irony? That’s the exact same deal he turned down from the Clippers to become a free agent:
“Marreese [Speights] has developed into a effective shooting big man during his pro career,” President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman said in a statement. “He is a veteran player that brings playoff and championship experience to our team.”
I’m actually kind of impressed that Weltman and the Magic organization were able to say such a thing with a straight face. Yes, Speights does have a title ring from his time with the 2015 Golden State Warriors when he started a total of nine games the whole regular season. In fact, he has started just 77 games in his entire career (just two in the postseason) out of 713 total games played, with 54 of those starts coming during the 2011-12 regular season with Memphis.
It will be a homecoming for Speights, who was born and raised in St. Petersburg and played his college ball for the Florida Gators, winning a national title as a freshman in 2007. It will be good for him to be close to home, and since he won’t have to worry about the playoffs with the Magic, he will get a chance to spend more time with family.