It began as a 10-day contract for Michael Carter-Williams. And how he’ll be returning for a second season in Orlando.
Woj reported on Monday that MCW will re-sign with the Magic on a one-year deal.
Free agent guard Michael Carter-Williams has agreed to a one-year deal to return to the Orlando Magic, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2019
In March, after losing Isaiah Briscoe to injury, the Magic signed Carter-Williams to a 10-day contract to take over the back-up point guard role. With his ability to push the pace, make hustle plays and aggressively defend on the perimeter, Carter-Williams made a strong impression with the Magic. He was signed to a second 10-day contract and, ultimately, the Magic waived Briscoe to make room for MCW for the remainder of the regular season and postseason.
In 12 regular season games with Orlando, Carter-Williams averaged 5.4 points, 4.1 assists and 4.8 rebounds. He in no way helped, or will help, the Magic’s need for outside shooting (having shot just 33.9 percent, including 15.8 percent from three with Orlando). But MCW is a true playmaker who has shown an ability to get to the rim and free throw line, which is another area of need for the Magic.
On Saturday, the Magic declined to make a qualifying offer to point guard Jerian Grant, ending his disappointing one-year stay in Orlando.
That left incumbent starter D.J. Augustin, now 31 years old and entering the final year of his deal, and mystery man Markelle Fultz as the remaining Magic point guards under contract.
The Magic were expected to address their point guard needs during either the NBA Draft or during the free agent frenzy on Sunday. Instead, they drafted Chuma Okeke and spent their mid-level exception on Al Farouq-Aminu, adding two more forwards to their crowded frontcourt. Approaching the $132 million luxury tax threshold, the Magic had nothing but minimum deals to offer, making it a near guarantee that MCW would be brought back...
Michael Carter-Williams Instagram post from an hour ago... pic.twitter.com/0p6ILLsV2C— Orlando Pinstriped Post (@OPPMagicBlog) July 1, 2019
The question now is where will Carter-Williams be on the depth chart when the season begins. Whether he is the back-up to Augustin or the third string point guard depends on how Fultz’s rehab progresses and what he looks like once he is finally back on the court.
Banking on another quality season from an aging Augustin and putting stock in Fultz could be risky for an Orlando team hoping to get back to the playoffs and make another step in their progression. For that reason, I would have rather seen them target Tomas Satoransky with the MLE instead of Aminu...
This sure would have been a great add for the Magic... https://t.co/CqGuTXwDFR— Orlando Pinstriped Post (@OPPMagicBlog) July 1, 2019
Once that was no longer an option, and funds were extremely limited, I was rooting for the Magic to bring back Carter-Williams. I’m hoping all of this means that the front office has seen something that we haven’t in Fultz, giving them faith that he will make an impact next season.
Do you feel comfortable going into the season with a point guard rotation of D.J. Augustin, Michael Carter-Williams and, possibly/hopefuly, Markelle Fultz? Share your thoughts below....