Magic to ‘redshirt’ Okeke, assign him to Lakeland of G League

Forward Chuma Okeke was selected by the Magic with the No. 16 overall draft pick.

Orlando Magic first-round pick and rookie forward Chuma Okeke won’t sign his rookie-scale contract until next summer as he continues to rehab and recover from ACL surgery, according to The Athletic.

Instead, Okeke will sign with the Lakeland Magic, the Magic’s affiliate in the G League.

As Shams Charania of The Athletic explained, Okeke will be “redshirted” after suffering the knee injury during Auburn’s run in the NCAA tournament.

Okeke displayed NBA athleticism and an ability to lead and win during the tourney run, and had it not been for the injury, many league executives predict he would’ve been a top-10 pick. (The Magic selected him at No. 16 overall.)

While Okeke won’t earn an NBA salary this season, he could sign a rookie contract that’s worth an extra $1 million by waiting, simply because the rookie scale is expected to rise prior to next season, as Bobby Marks of ESPN explained.