The Magic have Okeke's NBA rights. He can not negotiate or sign with any other
NBA team while the Magic have those rights.
The Magic had until July 15, 2019 to offer him a "required tender" (a contract offer signed by the team). If the Magic had failed to do that, then Okeke would have immediately become a rookie free agent and the Magic would be prohibited from signing him anytime in the future (except after he has already played for another NBA team).
In other words, the Magic obviously offered him a "required tender (contract)" as he's been rehabbing at Amway...why would they allow that if they are never legally allowed to sign him. Okeke has until the first day of the regular season to sign the "required tender."
• The Okeke scenario that I feel is possibly playing out:
The delay in his signing is related to the Magic's luxury tax space and how the 15th roster spot plays out in training camp.
With Okeke's cap hold, if the Magic decide to add a 15th player to the roster AND stay under the luxury tax, they would need to slightly adjust the 1st year salary of Okeke's actual contract.
For example if DeQuan Jeffries (or another minimum salary player) makes the team and takes that 15 roster spot, then the Magic can make Okeke's contract slightly less ($78k) to fit DeQuan Jeffries salary under the luxury tax.
If Jeffries (or other training camp invitee) doesn't make the team, and the Magic leave the 15th roster spot empty entering the season, then they just make Okeke's contract at the normal rookie contract rate.
The Magic pay Okeke $78k less on his 1st year salary, but that's only IF the Magic fill the 15th spot in training camp.
In addition, this scenario leaves the door open for Okeke to play in the NBA this 2019-20 season...after all, his ACL recovery timeline estimates a return window of mid December - mid February.
• For those speculating that Okeke is refusing to sign:
1) Per the CBA, that "required tender" must provide guaranteed compensation protection (be it for lack of skill or injury) for at least 2 seasons at not less than 80% of the applicable Rookie Scale Amount. Article VII C ii (page 267)
2) Okeke was an "Early Draft Entry" player. Early Entry players are bound by their drafting teams until one year after the first NBA Draft they could have entered as non-Early Entry players. In other words, the Magic have Okeke's draft rights for this year (19-20 season) and next year's draft (20-21 season). LINK
In other words, if Okeke (rehabbing an ACL injury) refuses to sign the Magic's "required tender," he would be rejecting $4.3-$6.4 million in guaranteed money...AND
he would knowingly be delaying his NBA career until the 2022-23 season, which is the first season he can sign with another team other than the Magic.
• For those speculating that Okeke and the Magic have an agreement to delay signing until next season:
Immediately upon the Magic selecting Okeke in the draft, a 120% Rookie Scale cap hold was applied to the Magic's team salary.
That cap hold can only be removed if the Magic and Okeke both
agree in writing not to sign a contract through June 30, 2020. That paused 120% cap hold scale amount returns immediately to the team salary on July 1, 2020.
While this would be very beneficial to the Magic, there is no incentive for Chuma Okeke to do this.
By postponing his signing to next year, Okeke could make $225k more in his first year salary...BUT to get that little bit more he would have to take a massive gamble. Its unrealistic that a player recovering from an ACL tear will put at risk $4.3 to $6.4 million in guaranteed money just to squeeze out an additional $225k. Rookie scale contracts can not include any form of bonuses or performance incentives.