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Orlando Magic sign Michael Carter-Williams, waive Isaiah Briscoe

If the Magic make the playoffs, Carter-Williams now has a spot on the roster

NBA: New York Knicks at Orlando Magic Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

We all knew that if the Magic made the playoffs, Michael Carter-Williams would be joining them. The only question was who would be waived to open a spot for him on a potential playoff roster.

We got our answer on Thursday as the Magic signed Carter-Williams for the remainder of the season and waived injured point guard Isaiah Briscoe.

Before Carter-Williams took over the back-up point guard role and provided the energy and spark the Magic needed, it was Briscoe who did just the same. Similar to MCW, Briscoe’s primary contributions didn’t show in box scores as he averaged just 3.5 points and 2.2 assists in 39 games for the Magic. When he took over the back-up point guard job from Jerian Grant, he helped turn the Magic around with his hustle plays, ability to push the pace, and his strong perimeter defense.

When Briscoe suffered a torn meniscus in his knee in late-February that required surgery, the Magic went shopping for a point guard. Enter MCW.

After being granted a medial hardship waiver due to their abundance of injuries, the Magic signed Carter-Williams to the first of two 10-day contracts. MCW made his presence felt immediately and helped the Magic go 7-2 during his stint.

In order for Carter-Williams to be eligible for the postseason, a corresponding move had to be made to open a roster spot.

Magic Twitter speculated that benched point guard Jerian Grant or the seldom-used Jarell Martin would be waived to make room for Carter-Williams. With the Magic having never announced a timetable for Briscoe’s return, and with a need for a third point guard on the roster, the move indicates that Briscoe would not have been ready for postseason play. If he had been healthy enough to make a return, it most likely would have been Grant who was shown the door.

The final two seasons on the three-year, $3.9 million deal Briscoe signed with the Magic in July were non-guaranteed. According to Bobby Marks of ESPN, Briscoe can be claimed only by a team with a trade exception for $838,000.

With the Magic point guard rotation in 2019-2020 set to include D.J. Augustin (final year of his contract) and Markelle Fultz (when he gets back on the court), and with the failed Grant experiment set to end after the season, the Magic could explore re-signing Carter-Williams and/or even bring back Briscoe if he is available, which Keith Smith reports is a possibility...

Very disappointing to see Briscoe go because of an injury, particularly when Grant has no future with the team beyond this season. But with the focus on the playoffs, it doesn’t seem as if the Magic had a better option under the circumstances.

Carter Williams - averaging 5.4 points and 4.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 18.7 minutes per game for the Magic - has earned his spot. He could be a valuable asset off the bench should the Magic match-up against the Bucks’ Eric Bledsoe, the Raptors’ Kyle Lowry or even the Sixers’ Ben Simmons in the first round of the playoffs.