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NBA: Ayayi joins the Magic


The 22-year-old French back (or leader) Joël Ayayi, who was free, has signed up with Orlando Magic, where he will try to prove himself during training camp before the resumption of the season.

Like Olivier Sarr with Portland, Joël Ayayi will also have the opportunity to show his qualities within an NBA franchise during the training camp which will precede the resumption of the season. The 22-year-old French rear (or leader) has indeed signed a contract with Orlando Magic on Tuesday.

A contract which is not guaranteed, and the road is therefore still long for the native of Bordeaux if he wants to play the next season within the franchise of which his compatriot Evan Fournier was an emblematic player for seven years. Passed by the NCAA, on the side of the Gonzaga Bulldogs, one of the best university teams, between 2017 and 2021, Joël Ayayi had presented himself for the draft in stride, but had not been chosen by any franchise.

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Only 20 minutes in the NBA for Ayayi

The little brother of international Valériane Vukosavljevic immediately bounced back by signing a “two way” contract (which allows back and forth between the NBA and the G-League) with the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Californians were separated from him before the start of the season. Finally, it was in the capital, Washington, that he made his NBA debut. But it was brief… Joël Ayayi played 7 games with the Wizards between October and December 2021, the time to score 2 points, take 3 rebounds and deliver 4 assists in total, in 20 minutes of play.

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He was then sent to the G-League, at Capital City Go-Go, where he shone, with 10.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 31.1 minutes of play. With his No. 17 on his back, Joël Ayayi should take part in the Magic’s five pre-season matches, in Memphis on October 3, in San Antonio on October 6, in Dallas on October 7, against Memphis on October 11 and against Cleveland on October 14. Now it’s up to him to show Florida that he’s an NBA player and not just a G-League player…

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