As free agency opened after the clock struck midnight on Tuesday morning, the Orlando Magic’s interest in Detroit Pistons’ restricted free agent big man was reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Although the Magic have made a few moves in recent days – they signed their two first round draft picks, the fourth-overall selection, former Arizona Wildcats’ forward Aaron Gordon and the 10th-overall pick, former Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns’ point guard Elfrid Payton, who the Magic acquired by trading the rights to the 12th-overall selection, Croatian forward Dario Saric and a future first round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. They have also claimed guard Willie Green off of waivers from the Los Angeles Clippers and agreed to a two-year, $9 million deal (with a team option on the second year) with veteran guard Ben Gordon.
The Magic still are among the teams with the most cap room and adding a young (he’s still only 24 years old), talented forward like Monroe could really help them, especially if they plan to make Aaron Gordon a small forward.
According to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, the Magic are “very interested” in Monroe.
However, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press reports the Magic’s interest is “lukewarm at best.”
In numerous conversations with league executives, scouts and agents over the past two years, not one considered Monroe a max player.
Let’s look at the reported suitors: Portland, Washington, Orlando, New Orleans, Atlanta, Cleveland and the Lakers.
It’s hard to see the Wizards’ interest when they will retain center Marcin Gortat.
Monroe’s camp was working on a deal with the Blazers as agent David Falk was trying to get something in place quickly. The Blazers have reportedly met with free-agent center Spencer Hawes.
Orlando’s interest is lukewarm at best.
Monroe put up 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 49.7% from the field and 65.7% from the free throw line last season.