Orlando Magic reportedly add top NBA free agent to growing young core

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Orlando Magic
Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

The upstart Orlando Magic entered NBA free agency with north of $51 million to spend under the salary cap. Fresh off a surprise appearance in the playoffs, front office head Jeff Weltman was hellbent on upgrading the Orlando roster.

That reportedly included looking for both backcourt and wing help to go with star forward Paolo Banchero. Four-time NBA champion Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors was rumored to be an option.

Now that Thompson is looking at other options, Orlando turned its attention to an underrated three-and-D wing.

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today was the first to report that veteran Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has opted to leave the Denver Nuggets and sign in Orlando.

Other reports indicate that it’s a massive deal for KCP. That includes $66 million over three years.

Related: Updated Orlando Magic news and rumors

What the Orlando Magic are getting in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Orlando Magic Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

A top-10 pick of the Detroit Pistons back in 2013, KCP has never been a 20-point per game scorer. That’s not what he brings to the table.

Rather, the 6-foot-5 wing continues to prove himself as one of the most underrated all-around players in the entire game.

Caldwell-Pope helped the Denver Nuggets to the NBA title back in 2023, averaging 10.8 points on 42% shooting from distance. This past season saw him shoot a robust 41% from three-point range.

This is something the Magic were missing a season ago, with the likes of Cole Anthony, Markelle Fultz and Jalen Suggs struggling shooting from distance.

Paying out $22 million per season for a role player is one thing. But when you add in KCP’s ability on the defensive end of the court, it makes perfect sense for the upstart Magic.

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