Jeff Weltman Rumors
The Orlando Magic have signed free agent forward Ignas Brazdeikis (IG-nuss bruzz-DAY-kiss) to a 10-day contract, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed. In addition, forward Donta Hall has been released from his 10-day contract. Brazdeikis (6’6”, 221, 1/8/99) played in five games this season with both New York and Philadelphia, totaling two points, four rebounds and one assist in 3.0 minpg. He played in four games with the Knicks, before being traded to Philadelphia as part of a three-team deal on Mar. 25. Brazdeikis appeared in one game with the Sixers, before being waived on Apr. 8.
Organizationally, I asked? “Yeah, organizationally, in terms of the plan,” Gordon continued. “I think (Magic front office executives) John Hammond, Jeff Weltman, those guys are amazing people — amazing people, and very talented managers as well. But I feel like they got kind of cast into the revolving door out there as well in Orlando. So many coaches — five coaches in seven years (Jacque Vaughn, James Borrego, Scott Skiles, Frank Vogel and Steve Clifford). And it was kind of a different organization after the passing of Mr. (Rich) DeVos (in September 2018) as well. It was just a lot. A lot of uncertainty, an insecure kind of feeling. But I have no doubt in my mind that John and Jeff are going to get that organization back to where it needs to be.
Why was it necessary to trade Nikola Vucevic? Jeff Weltman: I think it’s hard to separate the trades. We picked a new path. We picked a new direction. Vooch, as our best player, had to be a part of that decision. All of those guys are good players, and they’ve been good players for our organization and good people. But if we were going to strike out on a good path, we needed to make those moves.
Jeff Weltman: Someone told me after the deadline that there were only three first-round draft picks that got traded Thursday, and they were all traded to the Orlando Magic. So the league understands how precious these picks are — not just for the player value, but for the contract value. If you can develop first-round picks on your roster who become productive players while they’re still on their contracts, that gives you the financial freedom elsewhere to spend on other players. They’re critical to any building plans, and they’re very coveted assets. So we consider ourselves well-positioned to say that we have three extra picks over the next five years.
Jeff Weltman: I don’t know what this will look like, but I know that Mo is hungry and Mo has a lot to prove, and it’s up to him to prove it. I don’t expect things to change overnight because this season there won’t be many practices. But making all the moves that we’ve made will create opportunities for all of our young players, and Mo’s one of them. Hopefully, he can start to take steps forward this year and have a great offseason and come back a vastly improved player. I think that’s within his reach. I know it’s what his goal is. We still are excited about what Mo could become.
The Magic are in dire need of ball-handling help having lost Markelle Fultz for the season, and it’s worth mentioning that Orlando president Jeff Weltman arrived in Disney World after years helping steer the Raptors. But there’s little optimism Lowry would re-sign in Orlando after this season, sources said, and teams are curious if the Magic finally emerge as sellers before this trade deadline after dangling Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon prior to the draft and falling into another pedestrian regular season.