NBA Roundtable

Orlando Re-Sign Foyle

In Free Agency on August 29, 2009 at 5:44 pm

The Orlando Sentinel reports

Lon Babby, Foyle’s agent, said the agreement is a one-year deal worth slightly more than $1.3 million. The Magic, who are over the salary cap, could offer Foyle only the minimum salary for a veteran with at least 10 years of NBA experience.

Foyle, 34, will back up starting center Dwight Howard and reserve Marcin Gortat.

Magic GM Otis Smith adds

“If you need him to bang against the bigger bigs, he can,” said Magic General Manager Otis Smith. “But he brings leadership, which he’s always done since he’s been in the league, and he brings professionalism, which he’s one of the best at. As a human being you’re putting around your team, he’s one of the better guys in our league, and he’s shown that year after year.”

The article also mentions that Adonal Foyle drew a fair bit of interest from around the league but always wanted to +  expected to return to Orlando.


Good signing by the Orlando Magic. Adonal Foyle is one of the best third string centers in the NBA.

Orlando’s Big Man Rotation

Orlando are a little different than most teams because of how they use their big men. They go with one interior orientated player who anchors the defense, and then need a shooter as the second big in order to space the floor out.

So …

  • Jump shooting big man the power forward position — Rashard Lewis, Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson.
  • Interior bigthe center position — Dwight Howard, Marcin Gortat, Adonal Foyle.

Some notes on these players + positions + depth

#1 — Strength + depth at the center position

Orlando have one of the most dominant starting centers in the NBA in Dwight Howard, a player who many regard as the best center in the NBA. The Magic also have one of the best backup centers in the NBA in Marcin Gortat, and one of the best third string centers in Adonal Foyle. In summary, the Magic are unbelievable strong at the center position.

#2 — Minutes at power forward position + rebounding

Rashard Lewis who’ll likely play at least some of his time at the power forward spot. I’m hoping he’ll revert to the three position for the most part, allowing Orlando to upgrade their team rebounding in the process, but Lewis would still be a very good option at the four spot from time to time.

Like I just said, I am hoping that the Magic will play with a more traditional lineup next season in order to get another good rebounding player out on the court. I think it’s an important part in Orlando’s title attempt … and thus, would like to see both Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson getting significant court time, with Lewis only getting a small amount of his court time at the four. But since the distribution of minutes is still very much a question mark, it’s hard to say how exactly this will play out.

As for the rebounding — Rashard Lewis averages around 6 rebounds per 36 minutes, and he averages that number of rebounds while playing at both the small forward position (good) and the power forward position (very bad). Meanwhile, Brandon Bass + Ryan Anderson average about 8.5 rebounds per 36 minutes.

That rebounding difference could help transform the Magic from a good rebounding team into an elite rebounding squad … if Bass + Anderson get enough minutes, and if Lewis plays most of his minutes at the three position.

#3 — Shooters at the four

Rashard Lewis is one of the best pure shooters in the NBA. He is a 20ppg threat who can score from anywhere on the floor, and is very efficient in getting his points on the board.

Brandon Bass is one of the best midrange jump shooting big men in the NBA.

Ryan Anderson is a three point threat, like Lewis is, and hit 37% of his shots from behind the arc last season. His shooting inside the three point line was relatively poor last season and is a work in progress … it’s also the reason his scoring efficiency (TS% of 53%) was mediocre last season.

#4 — Consistent style of play

This is the most important element to the Magic’s big man set up. By having three interior orientated bigs, and three other jump shooting bigs, Orlando is now able to maintain their style of play throughout the game.

In the past, Orlando’s style of play would change hugely when they’d take Rashard Lewis off the floor. In his place would come Tony Battie, another interior big who is a combo PF/C with a slightly above average midrange jump shot.

When Battie came on the floor, Orlando were no longer able to space the floor as effectively as they had prior, and changed how the opposition defense would play against them … allowing them to clog the paint and to force Battie to take jump shots, which was a long way from Orlando’s preferred options offensively.

This now changes with the acquisitions of Brandon Bass + Ryan Anderson. They have the three point threat in Anderson and a much more dangerous two point jump shooter in Brandon Bass, allowing the Magic to keep their style of play in tact for the full 48 minutes.

Likewise, Orlando benefit hugely from having a big man of Marcin Gortat’s quality. They get a small drop defensively + rebounding wise, but only a minuscule one compared to what you’d expect when Dwight Howard steps of the floor. This allows them to play with one out and out interior big, while still playing effectively with a more perimeter orientated power forward … something most teams struggle to do when they call upon their backup center.

  1. Dave,

    I agree with your take on the re-signing of Foyle, etc.

    Orlando just keeps solidifying its position as one of the top 3 dogs in the EC.

    As a point of comparison …

    * 3 seasons ago, the Magic missed missed the playoffs
    * 2 seasons ago, they made the playoffs and beat Toronto in Round 1
    * 1 season ago, they made the playoffs and went to the NBA Finals
    * This summer they let Turkoglu go and traded for a Star instead

    * 3 seasons ago, the Raptors made the playoffs; lost to NJN in Rd 1
    * 2 seasons ago, they made the playoffs; lost to ORL in Rd 1
    * 1 season ago, they missed the playoffs
    * This summer, they signed Turkoglu to a $50.0 M deal

    Otis Smith and Dave Twardzik are doing a terrific job.

  2. Khandor,

    Was that comparison meant to lead somewhere?

    It’s nice Orlando re-signed Foyle, the guy deserves another pay day in the league. But he doesn’t solidify much other than emergency backup. Without a couple of bigs getting hurt, it’s not likely he’ll even dress most nights.

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