E’Twaun Moore is somewhat the forgotten piece to the Magic’s rotation. He has spent the past two years playing a bit out of position as the backup point guard and has filled his role admirably, if not consistently effectively.
In two seasons with the Magic, 7.1 points per game and 3.6 assists per 36 minutes, playing 20.7 minutes per game. His shooting has been spotty shooting 41.0 percent from the floor and 34.6 percent from beyond the arc. Last season, Moore averaged 6.3 points per game in 19.1 minutes per game, shooting 42.8 percent from the floor and 35.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Moore is the kind of young player that gets a chance on a young team like the Magic. He will have to take a step forward in his game, become more consistent and find a better niche if he wants to stay in the league. That will be the big question for him this summer as he becomes a restricted free agent this summer. The Magic will have to decide whether to extend a qualifying offer before July 1.
This is a big decision both for the Magic and for Moore in his career.
The information informing the Magic suggests that they will be moving on from Moore. This is not only because the team is expected to draft a point guard to lead the team into the future and might keep Jameer Nelson even for the short term (he is entering a non-guaranteed final year of his contract). Moore may get lost in the shuffle, or a cheaper option might come around.
As Jake Smith of Orlando Magic Stuff discovered when he asked noted NBA statistician Wayne Winston about the Magic’s best and worst lineups, E’Twaun Moore was very often a part of the Magic’s worst lineups:
But basically what was really bad for you guys was when you had two of Harkless, Moore, and Harris on the floor. When at least two of those guys were on the court, you guys had your worst lineups. Specifically, if you had Harkless, Moore, and Harris on the floor all at the same time, you played nine points worse than average. If you had Harkless and Moore without Harris, you were 14 points worse than average. And if you played Harris and Moore without Harkless then you played 12 points worse than average. So it looks like Moore was less than stellar this season– I really never expected him to be an NBA player after watching several of his games at Purdue. According to our system you guys were 16 points worse than average when Moore was playing point guard– that’s beyond horrible and that indicates that putting him at point guard was a dumb thing to do. If he’s going to be in the NBA then he should be playing at the two because his valuable skill is shooting. I can’t even picture him as a point guard.
This kind of analysis does not bode well for Moore. He is the most expendable of the three players mentioned and certainly has very little prospect of being a long-term starter. His free agency status does not bode well for him either.
Moore might do a lot of little things well. He is a guy who works hard and fits the culture the Magic want to build. But he was ultimately a tweener. Not quite a skilled enough scorer or big enough to be a shooting guard and not quite refined enough to be a point guard in the NBA.
His NBA career may not be over. But it is starting to appear that his tenure with the Magic is coming to a close. This is especially considering the expected turn the Magic are preparing to make toward trying to win and make a move up the standings.