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Buddy Hield of the 76ers among the top five available 3-point specialists

ORLANDO – After reaching the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2020, the Orlando Magic franchise has re-energized its fan base with expectations of becoming a regular Eastern Conference contender.

But before the Magic can move beyond young and aggressive defensive stars, they must first improve their three-point shooting.

During the regular season, Orlando ranked 24th out of 30 teams with a three-point field goal percentage of just over 35%. They were even poorer in the offseason. In the second half of Game 7 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Magic converted three of 14 three-point attempts to blow a 10-point lead and the series.

But there's some good news here: This year's free agent class is loaded with three-point specialists. Additionally, Orlando is expected to have $25 million in cap space to upgrade its roster.

In the coming weeks, Magic Insider will examine the team's biggest needs and report on the top free agents available. Starting with three-point shooting, here are the top five free agents Orlando could consider:

  1. Luke Kennard, Memphis Grizzlies
  2. Gary Trent Jr., Toronto Raptors
  3. Malik Beasley, Milwaukee Bucks
  4. Davis Bertans, Charlotte Hornets
  5. Buddy Hield, Philadelphia 76ers

Let's start today with Hield.

Known for his shooting prowess since his time at Oklahoma, Hield offers a mix of potential and experience.

In his eight NBA seasons, Hield has not only met his college shooting percentages, but exceeded them. As a Sooner, Hield shot 39 percent on 6.8 attempts per game. In the NBA, his career performance has improved to 40 percent on 7.6 attempts per game – one of 48 players all-time to make threes at 40 percent or better.

Unfortunately for Hield, 2023-24 was statistically his second-worst season as a pro. While playing for the Indiana Pacers and Sixers, Hield shot 38.6 percent from three and scored just over 12 points per game, his lowest average since his rookie season.

While Hield's three-point percentage is still above this season's league average of 36.6 percent, his declining production and age – he'll be 32 next season – could be contributing factors.

Assuming Hield is seeking a contract around the same price as his last contract, which paid him about $20 million last season, he may be too expensive a short-term investment for the Magic. However, if the price is right, Hield remains a name Orlando will be keeping an eye on this offseason.

The free agency negotiation period with players from other teams begins June 30 at 6:00 p.m. ET. The signings become official on July 6 at 12:01 p.m. ET.

Anna Harden

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