Projecting Joe Ingles’ ceiling and floor for the Orlando Magic’s 2024 season

The Orlando Magic entered free agency as one of the few teams in the league with significant cap room. But the team was not expected to use it all.

President of basketball operations Jeff Weltman has already stated that the 2024 season would be one for growth and development and self-evaluation following the team’s promising finish to the season. This was a team that wasn’t out to make a big splash.

Still, everyone understood that Magic was not a perfect outfit. They needed to own their injury-riddled 5-20 start as much as they needed to own their promising 29-28 finish to the season. They still found themselves on the outside of the postseason picture, even though they were the last team eliminated from contention.

The team still needed to make some additions to become a more serious postseason team.

The biggest additions to the team were undoubtedly rookies Anthony Black and Jett Howard. But the addition of veteran Joe Ingles was also a big step for the team.

The Orlando Magic are adding veteran Joe Ingles to the fold this coming season. What can the Magic expect from the veteran sharpshooter? Very especially as he gets healthier.

Signing Ingles to a two-year, $22 million deal this offseason was Orlando’s “big splash” in this NBA free agency. Ingles spent last season with the Milwaukee Bucks and eight previous seasons with the Utah Jazz.

This signing gives Orlando a new, veteran presence in a young locker room. The Magic were the fourth-youngest team in the league with an average age of 23.94 years. The 35-year-old NBA forward should help the team with his wisdom — something Ingles already cheekily notes.

But what are the realistic expectations or highs and lows for Ingles this coming season? What can he do to help the Magic get more on the road to an even bigger winning culture that can find itself competing on a regular basis?

Ceiling: Ingles can be a valuable bench/role player with a lethal shot

It really shouldn’t be a secret to anyone that the Orlando Magic badly needed two things this offseason: Perimeter shooting and depth on the wing.

Ingles helps satisfy both of those needs with his versatility to play any wing position and possibly even some at power forward — according to Basketball-Reference, he played 56 percent of his minutes at small forward and 36 percent of his minutes at power forward last year and up to 84 percent of his minutes at power forward during the 2020 season with the Utah Jazz.

He is also an excellent 3-point shooter and perimeter passer. Even in his somewhat limited season last year with the Milwaukee Bucks (he was playing his first year recovering from a torn ACL), he averaged 6.9 points per game. game and shot 40.9 percent from deep with 3.3 assists per game. match in 22.7 minutes per match.

Ingles should be able to slide into whatever role the Magic need and spread the floor and keep the ball rolling for a young team that just needs veteran know-how.

The ability to fit into those roles is doable for the former Milwaukee Buck. He has a career three-point percentage of 40.9 percent. He shot the same percentage last season with the Bucks, and it was one of his best perimeter shooting seasons.

Ingles’ three-point shooting streak surpasses last season when he was with Milwaukee. He is also the all-time leading long distance scorer in Utah Jazz history.

Orlando is a team that needs help with the three-point shot. Last season, they ranked as the sixth-worst team in total three-pointers made (833) and were the seventh-worst team in the league in three-point percentage (34.6 percent). They also took the second-most 3-point attempts in the game, often leaving them a hole to dig out of due to their ineffectiveness from deep.

Those shooting numbers could improve over time with a player like Ingles who can hit the 40 percent mark from deep on a consistent basis. Last season, Orlando’s top three-point shooter in percentage last season was Gary Harris, who shot 43.1 percent from beyond the arc.

In fact, the Magic didn’t have another player shoot better than 40 percent from three who averaged at least 20 minutes per game. match. The only other 40-percent-plus three-point shooter was Jonathan Isaac (who averaged about 11 minutes per game and only made 11 appearances all season).

Ingles could complement a game similar to Harris’ by playing a heavy shooting role from the wing rather than from the backcourt.

Floor: He could be a role player who provides wisdom with his experience in the league.

The Orlando Magic remain among the five youngest teams in the league. The addition of 35-year-old Joe Ingles makes him the oldest player on the roster. No other player is older than 30 (Gary Harris signs in as a veteran at 29).

Of course, with age, Ingles’ flaws can start to show, which includes his shooting numbers from an overall standpoint. He hasn’t topped 300 field goal attempts in the past two seasons and really doesn’t offer a whole lot on the defensive end.

On top of this, he is two years removed from tearing his ACL. While players typically need a full season to come back from that injury, Ingles is getting older and a return to his prime with the Utah Jazz may be a stretch.

Ingles, for his part, says he’s feeling much better after working through the final stages of his recovery last year in Milwaukee. His game doesn’t rely on athleticism, so he may lose a step defensively, but he should still be effective.

He’s also been really hit or miss with his assist and rebound numbers over the course of his career. He put up better numbers in those categories during his time with the Jazz, averaging four rebounds per game. match and sometimes almost six assists per battle while in Utah.

However, since the 2020 season, those numbers have dropped, and he has now averaged under 200 rebounds and assists in the last two seasons. He tore his ACL midway through the 2022 season, so his focus this past year has been to get himself fully back on the floor.

Those mistakes can stick out a lot and can limit the value Ingles provides on the floor in terms of creating for his teammates and keeping his matchups to low-scoring totals. But he can certainly be a role model for the younger, developing players on the team as they come off the bench.

Still, Ingles has a jump shot that could reinvigorate the Magic’s shooting beyond the three-point line. His percentages from three are still the highest marks of his career, and he can bring his trigger to Orlando.

But the bug of age can catch up with him and reveal the flaws that are starting to stick out in his game.

The signing of Orlando adds depth on the wing behind guys like Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner and also helps the shooting struggles they’ve had in the three-point department.

  • Published on 07/12/2023 at 21:02
  • Last updated 07/12/2023 at 21:02

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