“The fact of the matter is that there are very few guys that get extended contracts like that coming off rookie deals,” Smith said before the Magic faced the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“We like Ryan. We’d like to keep him on our team. Quite honestly, we still have the right of first refusal because he’d be a restricted free agent. It could backfire, and we could have to pay more. But that’s the risk we’ve chosen to take.”
The Magic did the same with both Marcin Gortat and J.J. Redick. Both players signed offer sheets with other teams and the Magic matched the offers, keeping both.
“You have to look at the whole body of work and look at where we are,” General Manager Otis Smith said before the Magic faced the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.
“It’s nothing against Daniel. He’s done what he’s supposed to do. He’s gotten himself in good shape. He’s worked his tail off. It’s nothing against him at all. It’s just the way everything fell this year.”
Orton, Orlando’s first round pick in 2010, has not played in a regular season game.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)