Aminu side­lined with knee in­jury

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS MONDAY - [email protected] or­lan­dosen­

— and it’s a good op­por­tu­nity for some guys, for sure,” he said.

Last year, the Magic lost re­serve point guard Isa­iah Briscoe for the fi­nal two months of the reg­u­lar season and the play­offs af­ter he sus­tained a torn menis­cus.

Aminu’s absence will fur­ther thin the Magic’s lineup against the War­riors. Or­lando also will be without start­ing cen­ter Nikola Vuce­vic (an­kle sprain) and re­serve guard Michael Carter-Wil­liams (left hip ir­ri­ta­tion).

Vuce­vic has missed the past four games while Carter-Wil­liams has been out the past five games.

Magic coach Steve Clif­ford said Aminu’s absence robs the team of size, de­fense and an­other vet­eran pres­ence on the floor.

Clif­ford said with Aminu out that Wes Iwundu will slide into the play­ing ro­ta­tion. Iwundu started games in In­di­anapo­lis, Detroit and Cleve­land on the team’s re­cent four-game road trip in place of in­jured Aaron Gor­don.

Look­ing ahead, if Aminu re­mains out for a sig­nif­i­cant amount of time, the Magic still have a ros­ter spot open and no longer have Ti­mofey Moz­gov’s $5.6 mil­lion salary on their books for this season. The NBA re­moved his money af­ter the Magic were granted an in­jury/ill­ness waiver on Moz­gov.

Or­lando sits roughly $7.8 mil­lion un­der the lux­ury tax, ac­cord­ing to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. He also re­ports the Magic now have a $10.7 mil­lion buf­fer on the hard cap.

Or­lando signed Aminu to a three-year deal dur­ing the off­sea­son. The re­serve for­ward had ap­peared in all 18 of Or­lando’s games be­fore Sun­day. D.J. Au­gustin, Evan Fournier and Markelle Fultz are the only other Magic play­ers to have ap­peared in all of the first 18 games.

Aminu is av­er­ag­ing 4.5 points, 4.8 re­bounds and a 1.0 steal in 21.1 min­utes per game. He made two starts in place of in­jured Jonathan Isaac, av­er­ag­ing 9.5 points and 9.5 re­bounds as the Magic beat the San An­to­nio Spurs and the Washington Wiz­ards.

Among the team’s reg­u­lar ro­ta­tion play­ers, Aminu’s 100.0 de­fen­sive rat­ing ranks se­cond only to Mo Bamba’s 99.0 mark.

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