Ignas Brazdeikis leaves Orlando Magic, signs with Lithuanian team

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Ignas Brazdeikis is moving on from the Orlando Magic after being with the organization for over a year.

Brazdeikis, who was on a two-way deal with the Magic during the 2021-22 season, signed a contract with Zalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian Basketball League and EuroLeague, the team announced Sunday.

He signed a two-year deal with an option for the second season, Zalgiris Kaunas stated.

Brazdeikis was an unrestricted free agent this offseason after the Magic didn’t tender him a two-way qualifying offer before free agency started on July 1.

For Brazdeikis, signing with Zalgiris Kaunas will be a homecoming. He was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, but his family moved to Chicago before settling in Ontario, Canada, while he was a kid.

After playing for Canada’s national teams in youth tournaments, Brazdeikis regained his Lithuanian citizenship in May 2021 and is playing for Lithuania’s men’s national basketball team. He played in Lithuania’s FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers earlier in July.

Brazdeikis played a career-high 536 minutes in 42 games while on a two-way contract with the Magic last season.

He had season-long averages of 5.1 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.8 minutes, including 10.3 points (46.7% shooting) and 2.9 rebounds in 23 minutes in his final 12 games.

Brazdeikis originally joined the Magic on a 10-day contract on May 2, 2021, before signing with the team for the remainder of the season.

He averaged 11.1 points (40.7% shooting on 3s), 5.1 rebounds and 2 assists in his final eight games of 2020-21 and signed the two-way deal last summer.

Brazdeikis was selected out of Michigan by the Sacramento Kings in the 2019 draft’s second round (47th overall) before playing a combined 14 NBA games with the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers prior to joining the Magic toward the end of the 2020-21 season.

Introduced during the 2017-18 season, two-way contracts are deals intended for development, with players going back and forth between a franchise’s NBA team and G League affiliate. Each team can sign a pair of players to two-way deals.

The Magic have one two-way roster slot remaining after Admiral Schofield signed his two-way qualifying offer with the Magic on Friday.

Two-way players will once again have a 50-game limit in the regular season to be on their NBA team’s active roster in 2022-23 after the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association had scrapped that limit in 2021-22 because of teams’ COVID-19 outbreaks.

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Price at khprice@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.

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