As Orlando continues a rebuilding project which appears to be coming along ahead of schedule, the team has added a veteran presence to its locker room that should help with developing the youngsters into true professionals.
The Magic announced the signing of Ronnie Price on Thursday, for what is believed to be a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum.
“We’re excited to welcome Ronnie and his family to the Magic organization,” said Magic GM Rob Hennigan, via the official release. “We believe Ronnie’s toughness and competitive spirit, along with the varied experiences he’s gained throughout his career, will impact the development of our team in a positive way.”
Translation: This particular move is about personality and locker room culture more than it is about the product on the court.
Orlando is going to play its first round draft pick Victor Oladipo heavy minutes at the guard spots, and while Price is a capable backup who is competent enough on both ends of the floor, he’s nowhere near a game-changer at either end who will bring victories to the team all by himself.
This was about rounding out the roster with a quality individual at a low contract number, and by bringing in Price, the Magic succeeded on both counts.
Entering his ninth NBA season, Price will be playing for his fifth franchise. He averaged 2.7 points and 1.9 assists in 13.1 minutes per game for the Blazers last season.
Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.
Embiid had been the biggest ray of hope for Philadelphia, but the 76ers shouldn’t chase watchability down the stretch. Sit Embiid until he’s fully healthy and secure the best draft position possible.
Maybe Embiid’s body just can’t handle the rigors of NBA basketball, but Philadelphia has no choice but to hope for the best with him and Simmons. And hope the nail the their first-round pick this year and get the Lakers’ first-rounder.
This could still be a dangerously good team in coming years. The Process created that potential.
But the threat of injury always looms around the corner, maybe especially so for Embiid.
Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah likely to miss rest of season after knee surgery
Prepare for the talk next fall about Noah feeling refreshed and ready to help the Knicks.
But this surgery won’t reverse the underlying problem: Noah is a 31-year-old big man with heavy mileage. He can manage his knees, but it’s probably too late for him to regain enough athleticism to reliably contribute.
Just three years and $55 million+ remaining on his contract, which already looked like the NBA’s worst deal and is now even more unfavorable.
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