Orlando Magic Sign Nikola Vucevic to an Extension


Feb 12, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) drives to the basket as Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) defends during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic have reportedly signed center Nikola Vucevic to a four-year deal that will pay him $53 million.

His new deal will run through the 2018-19 season and does not include any opt clauses meaning Vucevic won’t become a free agent until 2019.

The Magic acquired the big man from the Philadelphia 76ers in the Dwight Howard trade two years ago and he has gone on to be an integral part of the Orlando franchise.

He is one of just five players to average 10 rebounds a season over the last two years. In 134 regular season games with Orlando, the 24-year-old has averaged 13.6 points and 11.5 rebounds.

Vucevic has long been considered a core member of turning around the Magic’s fortunes after their struggles the past two seasons. Since Vucevic arrived in Orlando, the Magic has won just 43 games but the Montenegro native has been one of the few bright spots during that period.

He was scheduled to become a restricted free agent at the end of the 2014-15 season if a new deal was not completed by Oct. 31.

The next move for the Magic is to lock up Tobias Harris, who is scheduled to become a restricted free agent at seasons end. However, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo, there is still a “significant gap” in reaching a deal.

Part of that may come down to the fact that there are many more skilled players at Harris’ position than there are at Vucevic’s, meaning figuring out salary details could be more problematic.