The Pacers discussed a deal with him going to the Orlando Magic before the deadline, according to league sources, as they had strong interest in Aaron Gordon. The Magic pivoted, however, to acquire Markelle Fultz from Philadelphia and kept Gordon. The Pacers have also talked to the Atlanta Hawks about moving up eight spots Thursday to No. 10 but Holiday was requested in such a swap to bolster the Hawks’ backcourt behind Trae Young and that discussion didn’t go anywhere, a league source said.
Magic swingman Evan Fournier is among the NBA players who have been named to the French national team for the 2019 World Cup, according to FIBA. Fournier will be joined by Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Hornets forward Nicolas Batum, Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina and Bulls guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.
Storyline: World Cup
Center Nikola Vucevic and Ross were two of the Magic’s most integral players this past season, but the team has no guarantees Vucevic or Ross will be back with the Magic in 2019-20. Vucevic will become an unrestricted free agent on June 30, just as Ross will. Therefore, some draft forecasters have predicted Orlando will draft for immediate need in case Vucevic and/or Ross do not return. Weltman shot down that notion Monday, saying Vucevic’s and Ross’ upcoming free agencies would not impact the Magic’s draft strategy.
“I don’t think that we would look at drafting a rookie and expecting that he’s going to make a huge dent on our team (in his) first year,” Weltman said. “I think that you always hope that that could be the case, but you can never plan for that. And I think that especially the way the draft is trending, with players coming out earlier, that it becomes more difficult to expect that a rookie would actually come in and make a serious imprint (in) Year 1. So, we’re fine with being patient. We’re fine with developing a young player who we believe in and sticking with him.”