The Orlando Magic signed former Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Joel Ayayi to a contract on Monday, reuniting him with fellow guard Jalen Suggs. Assuming rosters stay put, three NBA teams will now have multiple Zags on the roster: Orlando, Memphis (Killian Tillie and Brandon Clarke) and Washington (Corey Kispert and Rui Hachimura).
Terms of Ayayi’s new contract were not revealed, but per the team press release the six-foot-four combo guard will wear No. 17 for his new team.
Ayayi’s new contract doesn’t guarantee him a spot on Orlando’s roster, and he’ll be competing with a whopping nine(!) guards currently on the team over the next month or so until the season begins.
Ayayi has already bounced around quite a bit during his brief professional career. After going undrafted in 2021, Ayayi caught on with the Los Angeles Lakers in summer league, before ultimately signing a two-way deal with Washington. He saw action in just seven NBA games, but played very well in the G-League with the Capital City Go-Go’s, averaging 10.7 points, 6.6 assists and 5.7 rebounds last season, while logging 30.9 minutes per game.
After a good, but not great, run through summer league this year with the Atlanta Hawks, Ayayi’s returning player rights were traded to Orlando’s G-League affiliate in Lakeland, which ultimately led to his new contract.
Now he’ll get a chance to compete alongside a former Gonzaga teammate in Orlando, with a difficult but attainable path to regular NBA playing time awaiting him.
Host – Locked on Zags Podcast
Writer – Ducks Wire