Magic sign Gary Harris to contract extension, re-signing Mo Bamba

Orlando Magic players Gary Harris and Mo Bamba
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By winning the lottery and drafting Paolo Banchero No. 1, the Magic got themselves patience to build up slowly and another big man.

So, it seemed veteran Gary Harris and center Mo Bamba wouldn’t be long for Orlando, especially after the Magic didn’t extend Bamba a $10,097,703 qualifying offer.

But Orlando is keeping both.

Magic:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

Free agent center Mo Bamba has reached an agreement with the Orlando Magic on a two-year, $21 million deal, his agents Mark Bartelstein and Greer Love of Priority Sports told Yahoo Sports.

Most deals reported tonight are merely unofficial agreements. Teams can’t sign most free agents until noon July 6.

But with the NBA moving the start of free agency from midnight July 1 to 6 p.m. June 30, there’s now a strange overlap. It’s still the 2021-22 league year. Which means Harris could sign an extension before the calendar flips to 2022-23 at midnight, when his contract otherwise would’ve expired and he would’ve become a free agent. So, that deal is official.

I’d be surprised if Harris and Bamba have their second-year salaries guaranteed. That’d mean pricey commitments to players who don’t fit especially well. The Magic have Wendell Carter at center, and Banchero can maybe play the position. Harris, who’ll turn 28 before the season, is a little old for Orlando’s timeline.

But with no other obvious way to spend their money, the Magic would be fine maintaining team control on Bamba and Harris.

The No. 6 pick in 2018, Bamba took meaningful steps in his development last season. The 24-year-old could continue to grow.

Harris somewhat bounced back after injury with the Nuggets left him as little more than matching salary in the Aaron Gordon trade. As a 3-and-D shooting guard, Harris could potentially return value in a trade to a better team. In the meantime, he looks like a solid veteran presence on this young Orlando squad.