The Orlando Magic already brought in one athletic big man this offseason when it sent a package of players to Oklahoma City in exchange for Serge Ibaka. On Saturday, the team decided that it apparently didn’t have enough bigs, so it signed former Raptors center Bismack Biyombo to a four-year deal.
Biyombo, who really made a name for himself with his stout defense and tenacious rebounding during Toronto’s Eastern Conference Finals showdown with Cleveland, will make a ton of money. His deal is worth $72 million, which Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical says was a little too much for the Raptors to match.
As previously mentioned, this is an interesting signing for the Magic, because they acquired Ibaka and already have Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon on their roster. You would probably think that this means that the team probably views Gordon as a three right now, which is interesting, because Orlando signed Jeff Green to a one-year deal on Friday. Meanwhile, the center position is a bit of an enigma, as Vucevic was the team’s starter the last few years, Ibaka can play there during small-ball lineups, and Biyombo is getting paid so much money that you’d probably think that he’s not coming off of the bench.
Regardless, while the rest of the league is trying to get smaller and faster, Orlando is taking a different approach under new coach Frank Vogel. The Magic have some really serious questions right now about how they’ll space the floor and keep things from getting clogged up in the paint (remember, it’s still smart for opposing points to go under the screen while guarding starting point guard Elfrid Payton), but this might be a nasty team defensively.
If you’re into teams that will turn games into rock fights for 48 minutes, you’ll love the 2016-17 Orlando Magic.