Andrew Nicholson just had a career year.
He stopped taking so many inefficient long 2s, moving his shot selection beyond the arc. The power forward made 41 3-pointers (as many as he made in his first three seasons combined) and shot 36% on 3s. He hit the glass harder. The Magic allowed 7.6 fewer points per 100 possessions with him on the floor than off.
Yet, Orlando seems ready to move on.
Nicholson fell from the rotation, and the Magic tried to trade him before the deadline.
Now comes the surest sign Nicholson will exit Orlando.
Zach Lowe of ESPN:
Nicholson – the No. 19 pick in the 2012 draft – would’ve received a qualifying offer worth $3,394,726. He might not get that on the open market – but he might. It takes just one team to like him, and nearly everyone will have money to spend.
The 26-year-old Nicholson is old for his experience level, but he’d provide decent depth.
The Magic open a little more cap room, and they project to have nearly $44 million in space (counting qualifying offers for Evan Fournier and Dewayne Dedmon). They can use that to chase a wing – like Chandler Parsons – who’d allow Serge Ibaka and Aaron Gordon to spend more time together as bigs.