The point guard position is one that appears to be of need for the Orlando Magic. They need an upgrade. But they will find their options limited here.
The Orlando Magic’s point guard situation is . . . less than ideal.
Elfrid Payton has himself ensconced as the starting point guard for now. But everyone seems a bit uneasy with his future prospects. Elfrid Payton got anointed as the starting point guard almost from the moment the Magic drafted him in 2014. They have waited patiently to see him develop.
It seemingly is reaching a boiling point.
Rob Hennigan, the general manager that draft Payton and traded up to get him, is no longer in charge. It is unclear what president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman thinks about Payton.
It is equally unclear if the Magic believe Payton can sustain his post All-Star play where he averaged 13.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 8.4 assists per game. That was a dominant run of play on the offensive end. But he still struggled on the defensive end.
There was a going thought the Magic might look to add a point guard in the Draft. Whether it was Dennis Smith at the top or possibly a versatile guard like Jawun Evans or Derrick White. Orlando ended up passing on all the point guard options in the Draft. Seemingly the Magic are going to ride with Payton for another year, as he prepares to enter restricted free agency.
Adding further mystery to the Magic’s seeming point guard problem is D.J. Augustin.
D.J. Augustin struggled some in the first year of his four-year, $29-million signed last summer. He averaged 7.9 points per game and shot just 34.7 percent from beyond the arc. When the Magic shifted to a more up-tempo style, he scored 6.4 points per game on a horrid 40.2 percent effective field goal percentage. His assists dropped from 3.0 per game to 1.9 per game.
Orlando clearly has a need to improve their point guard position. Or at least find some consistency. Increasingly, this is a position of greater need and importance throughout the league.
This just may not be the summer for the Magic to attack the point guard position. Augustin is on a long-term deal. Payton is there and perhaps worthy of one more try as the starting point guard as he finishes his rookie contract.
The only change that seems certain is waiving or moving C.J. Watson, who only has $1 million of his $5 million contract guaranteed if he is cut before July 10.
With only around $10 million to spend in free agency, the Magic might be looking at the bargain basement at this position. That amount of money is more likely to go to a backup than to a starter. With the top two spots locked up with some heavy salaries, the Magic might not address this need in free agency.