The Orlando Magic have signed free-agent point guard Chris Duhon to a four-year, $15-million contract, his agent informed Chad Ford of ESPN.com. The 28-year-old veteran of six NBA seasons has career averages of 7.7 points, 5.1 assists, and 39.3% shooting from the field.
As I wrote in my examination of free-agent point guards, Duhon excels as a pick-and-roll distributor, which should make him a solid fit in Orlando. However, a four-year commitment to a player of his caliber seems risky; certainly he's near his peak, and he's a guy who's missed more than 60% of his shots in his career.
That the Magic pursued him is no surprise. As I frequently mention, GM Otis Smith made signing Duhon his top priority during the summer of 2008, but Duhon accepted more money and the chance to start with the New York Knicks over playing a backup role to Jameer Nelson in Orlando. Smith's offer then was three years and $10 million.
The signing of Duhon--which comes exactly one day after Smith responded to a reporter's question about free agency by asking, "what's the rush?"--almost assuredly ends any chance the Magic continue pursuing restricted free-agent point guard C.J. Watson of Golden State, unless Smith sees him as more of a shooting guard. The move means the Magic's next order of business is to sign a small forward to replace Matt Barnes, whose chances of returning now stand near zero percent in the wake of this signing, given the Magic's limited financial resources.
Duhon, as with any other free agent, can't officially sign with a new team until July 8th.