The Magic have a young core of players that they’re banking on for the future, and starting center Nikola Vucevic is right near the top of that list.
Vucevic averaged 14.2 points and 11 rebounds in 31.8 minutes per contest last season, and big men who can consistently deliver that level of production are hard to come by, especially in markets like Orlando where star free agents haven’t been willing to sign in recent seasons.
The team’s best bet in building a contender is to lock up young players they like who are coming off of their rookie scale contracts — and the Magic did just that where Vucevic was concerned.
Magic give Vucevic four-year $54 million extension, source tells Yahoo
And from Shams Charania of RealGM:
Nikola Vucevic’s new contract extension with the Orlando Magic is fully guaranteed through four seasons, no options, source tells RealGM.
Did Orlando overpay, here? Maybe a little bit; $12 million per year would have seemed more reasonable. But less talented big men have been overpaid by NBA teams for years, and remember, the salary cap will be increasing dramatically over the next few seasons due to the league’s new multi-billion-dollar deal with its broadcast rights partners.
Next up for Orlando is to try to work something out with Tobias Harris, but Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that there is still a “significant gap” between the two sides.