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Devin Cannady grateful for second opportunity with Magic – The Denver Post

For a while, Devin Cannady didn’t know when — or even if — he would return to play in the NBA.

Cannady’s first league opportunity came when he signed a 10-day contract with the Orlando Magic on April 6, 2021, before signing a two-way contract 10 days later.

He averaged 4.3 points in eight games, including a career-high 17 points against the New Orleans Pelicans on April 22, 2021, but suffered an open right ankle fracture three days later against the New Orleans. Indiana Pacers to end their season.

A week later, the Magic waived him, leading to a nearly year-long journey back to NBA soil.

“He’s an unknown,” Cannady said. “I remember what it was like lying on this floor less than a year ago. Many thoughts were going through my mind. I remember praying on the floor that day. Many late nights, early mornings, frustrations, excitements and just being back here is a testament to the work I’ve put in. Whether I came back here or not, I was fine, but that’s where that I believe I belong.”

That trip went in the right direction for Cannady when he signed a 10-day contract with the Magic of franchise G-League team Lakeland Magic on Thursday and made his season debut at Friday’s home loss to the Toronto Raptors.

“I’m so happy for him, his journey and his story of what he’s been through,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said. “He just stepped in and was ready.”

There may be no one on Magic’s roster who understands what Cannady went through better than Markelle Fultz.

Fultz went to Lakeland for workouts over the winter while recovering from his torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

It was there that he got to see the work Cannady was doing to come back.

Cannady has averaged 15.8 points on 46.8 percent shooting on 3-pointers (59 of 126) in 16 games (11 starts) with Lakeland this season.

“I’m super excited for him,” Fultz said. “I believe in everything he does.”

Cannady knew he would play Friday, but Franz Wagner sprained his left ankle 20 seconds after the loss to the Raptors meant Cannady would get more playing time than expected.

He took advantage of that, scoring 9 points on 3-for-7 3-pointers in 28 minutes.

“It was just good to get back into this game,” Cannady said. “I didn’t think I was as nervous as I was going to be. The emotions were still there, but it was joy more than anything.

“It feels good to be back on an NBA court. I feel like I belong.”

The Magic added new names to their injury report for Sunday’s home game against the New York Knicks.

Wagner (sprained left ankle), Cole Anthony (sprained left toe) and Admiral Schofield (contusion left knee) are listed as questionable while Wendell Carter Jr. (sprained left wrist) and Jalen Suggs ( bone bruise on right ankle) will be seated.

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

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