Here’s where Orlando makes their splash. They’ll surely chase smaller role players, but Parsons is the kind of addition that gets you significant recognition around the league and gets fans pumped up for the season.
The Magic don’t exactly have a pure 3. Mario Hezonja can probably play it but is best suited to play shooting guard, and Aaron Gordon could do it in bigger lineups with enough shooting, but they don’t have a traditional small forward, someone who can hit three’s, initiate offense as a secondary ball-handler, rebound and chip in on defense.
Parsons checks all of the boxes but the last one, and with Victor Oladipo and Gordon lurking that’s less of a need. The Magic need someone to kick start their offense a bit. That was supposed to be Elfrid Payton, but his shooting makes him borderline unplayable. A Hezonja-Oladipo-Parsons lineup doesn’t have a pure point guard, but all three are above average passers and ball-handlers for their positions who can create a point guard in the aggregate. Plus, their size would create matchup problems for teams with smaller guards.
As much as I hate “coming home” stories, Parsons has deep Orlando connections and has never really denied wanting to play there. He’d help the Magic sell tickets and actually help their basketball team, but he’d also get a chance to showcase himself as a bigger part of Orlando’s offense than he’s been in Dallas or Houston. This seems like a stepping stone contract, a three-year deal with an opt-out after the second year before he cashes in on a four- or five-year deal afterwards.
The irony is that’s what his Dallas contract was supposed to be, but he’s still only 27 and has less tread than most as a four-year college player. If he stays healthy and produces there’s no reason to think he can’t sniff a max contract in 2018. If he gets to spend two years at home first? All the better.
Likely Contract: Three Years, $70 Million