When Jodie Meeks gets hot, he gets very hot. Such was the case when the Magic defeated the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night. After a scoreless first half, Meeks finished with 20 points, including a stretch of 13 straight in the third quarter. In a season in which the Magic have lacked any sort of threat on offense, Meeks has been one of their only consistent scoring threats.
Re-Signing Jodie Meeks a Priority for Orlando Magic
Meeks, who was traded to Orlando in exchange for a future conditional second-round draft pick back in June 2016, is set to become an unrestricted free agent this coming off-season. Re-signing him should be considered a priority for the Magic.
The 10-year NBA veteran has been somewhat of a journeyman throughout his career and has not seen himself in a starting role since the 2013-14 season. However, Meeks has established himself as a consistent scoring threat coming off the bench. Over the course of his career, Meeks has averaged 9.8 points per game, shooting 42.1 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from deep.
In addition to excelling offensively, Meeks is also a solid defensive player. Using his size and speed, Meeks is able to generate turnovers and create his offense in transition. Another key area that is often overlooked is turnovers. Meeks averages just 0.9 turnovers per game, and his ability to initiate offense efficiently should not be overlooked. Playing most of his minutes off the bench, Meeks can also fill in as a solid starter, appearing in the starting lineup 10 times this season.
The Orlando Magic will, without a doubt, undergo significant changes to the roster this off-season (and potentially to the front office, as well). Having already secured a lottery pick in this year’s draft, the Magic will place a lot of emphasis on adding to their young core. If Orlando is able to do this successfully, retaining Meeks could set the team up perfectly for a bounce-back season. Meeks can act as a role model in the locker room for younger players and could also be influential in helping develop current Magic players this summer.
Potential Trade Value
Looking even further ahead now, Meeks could be used as an attractive trade asset for the Magic next season. Meeks has an average career salary of just $6,270,000, representing great value for that money. Should the Magic re-sign Meeks, it would be a low cap hit in comparison to what Meeks can offer. However, if the Magic struggle next season, Meeks would be the perfect candidate for a trade deadline move. That type of move could further help the Magic to rebuild, and it’s the type of deal that occurs year after year. Whoever is sitting in the general manager’s office this off-season in Orlando will need to see the long-term benefits of retaining Meeks.