2016-17 Orlando Magic Player Evaluations: Patricio Garino

Oct 21, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Patricio Garino (29) shoots the ball during the first half against the Houston Rockets at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 21, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Patricio Garino (29) shoots the ball during the first half against the Houston Rockets at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic made a late signing to bring Patricio Garino out of the D-League and onto the roster. He struggled to perform leaving his future in doubt.

Patricio Garino’s first stint with the Orlando Magic was a blip. A three-game Summer League tryout before he jetted off to Argentina to prepare for the Olympics for his national team.

The former guard from George Washington never stood out on a box score much even in college and not completely during Summer League. There was never anything outstanding about him.

But he did find a way to stand out even in three games this summer. Garino was not a scorer. His shot was not as good as it could be. But Garino was a strong defender and did a lot of the little things around the perimeter. It seemed this young player deserved a second look or at least a place with the D-League team for further development.

The San Antonio Spurs pounced. They signed him to a training camp deal and made him their final cut before the end of training camp. He spent the year with the Austin Spurs.

With Orlando’s season winding down, the team brought in two players from the D-League (notably not its own D-League team) on multi-year deals, giving them the promise of a summer league and training camp to make the Magic’s roster.

Even with the Magic re-signing Garino, the most notable thing he did was a photo his agent took of him. Yes, that was Garino in the infamous whiteboard photo. That was something that was not his fault. But he stayed relatively invisible outside of that.

Garino did not get much time after signing on April 3. He failed to score in 43 minutes across five games to end the season. He missed all seven of his shots, including all five of his 3-pointers.

Garino was still solid defensively. He got himself open for jumpers, he just could not finish. The Magic never gave him too much of a chance, other than garbage time. And Garino never tried to take things over either. Garino worked, in some ways, because he blended in. To some extent, Garino probably needed to be willing to assert himself more.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

Moving forward, Garino will have to make shots and establish his role to stay in the NBA. His defense is good, but not otherworldly. He would be good in help side.

But his 3-point shot has to improve if he is going to stick in the league. For Austin in the D-League, Garino shot 43.0 percent from beyond the arc. He is capable of hitting from deep. He just did not once he made the NBA.

At this point, it is unclear whether Garino will stay with the Magic beyond training camp. The general manager who elected to give him his first NBA contract is gone. It is unclear how a new general manager — or how a new roster might form around him. It is very realistic Garino gets left behind.

With a non-guaranteed contract, Garino only has the promise of a now-departed general manager to make it to Summer League and to training camp next fall. He will have to earn his way back onto the roster. And the odds feel long.

Garino certainly seems capable of making it in the NBA. He has the talent and the ability. He may never be more than an end-of-the-bench role player, but he seems capable of fitting and playing that role. He just has to perform.

And for him to make the Magic roster he has to perform. He has to perform at Summer League in July while no one is watching. He has to perform in training camp when the stakes rise again. And when given the chance next year, Garino has to perform.

C-. . SG. Orlando Magic. PATRICIO GARINO

Garino still has plenty of potential and plenty of opportunity to make good on that promise. He can make some kind of impact in the NBA. Garino needs the chance on the court, but he has to make good on that chance when it comes.

In his short stint with the Magic, Garino often did not take advantage of that opportunity. For a player of Garino’s skills, he has to make 3-pointers to find value in the league. Especially coming off the bench.

Garino is capable of filling this role when the time comes. But this year he did not deliver.

Like so many things with this Magic team this year, performance matters. And Garino, even in his incredibly small sample size, did not perform. He is back to square one now.

Next: Orlando Magic Player Evaluations: Bismack Biyombo

He is back to square one now. Garino has no guarantees. But he has the opportunity and the chance to make his mark to stay in the NBA this summer and next fall.