Vucevic to be coveted by Magic, others after career season

Nikola Vucevic of the Magic will be a coveted player this summer.

With center Nikola Vucevic eligible for a five-year, $189.7 million max extension from the Orlando Magic this summer, the center and the team have decisions to make.

According to Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman, retaining Vucevic is a high-priority item for the team, though he realizes he will have other suitors come July for the All-Star center.

“Vooch is going to have a lot of teams who will make him a priority for them, too,” Weltman said, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic. “Hopefully, we can get something done.

“You know, it’s the NBA, and as I always say, there’s a lot of real estate between the intentions and what gets done. But it is a priority for us.”

If Vucevic leaves Orlando after seven seasons, he is eligible to sign a four-year, $140.6 million contract with another team.

“Everybody knows I’ve had a great seven years here,” he said. “But at the same time, we’ll see what happens. It’s a mutual decision, and it’s not just me.”

Vucevic, 28, averaged career-highs in points (20.8), rebounds (12.0) and assists (3.8) while matching his career-best in blocked shots (1.1) in 31.4 minutes in 80 games this season, shooting 51.8 percent from the field, a career-high 36.4 percent from deep along with 78.9 percent from the free-throw line.

The 7-foot, 260-pounder was the 18th overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.