The Orlando Magic’s search for a third point guard may lead them to an unexpected player. The Magic may have an interest in guard Trey Burke.
The Orlando Magic have kept very quiet during free agency this offseason. With little cap room and few assets to make dramatic improvements to the roster, it was not completely unexpected for the team to wait things out some as the dust settles elsewhere. Orlando simply did not have much mobility.
Still, it is a little surprising to see the Magic seemingly so inactive in free agency after a 29-win season. As the next wave of free agency begins, Orlando seems willing to make some small moves with their cap room. The Magic appear set to make at least some of those minor moves.
Chase Hughes of CSN Washington reports Washington Wizards guard Trey Burke has received interest from several teams for a one-year contract, including the Orlando Magic.
Burke averaged a career-low 5.0 points per game last year with the Wizards, playing in just 57 games for 12.3 minutes per game. He shot a career-best 45.5 percent from the floor and 44.3 percent from beyond the arc.
But Burke has been far from a success in the NBA. The former ninth overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft has struggled to find his footing as a shooter, playmaker or defender. All things scouts believed he could do after a solid career with the Michigan Wolverines.
For his career, Burke has shot a 45.4 percent effective field goal percentage and a 33.7 percent 3-point field goal percentage. He also has a career -2.6 defensive box plus-minus. He has, by that metric, been at least a neutral offensive player despite his poor shooting percentages. But his defense takes all that production away.
Burke has not lived up to his lofty expectations.
And while the Magic point guard situation is not great, it is hard to see Burke being a dramatic upgrade over D.J. Augustin. And with fans getting excited about how Derrick Walton Jr. has played in Summer League, it seemed like Orlando was going to go with the young Summer Leaguer route to fill that third point guard spot.
Burke is definitely a bigger shot with that. His potential is still as a solid scorer in the NBA, albeit an inefficient one. It is not a signing that will inspire a ton of confidence for dramatic improvement.
But if it comes down to a one-year contract, the risk is relatively small. If the deal does not work out, the Magic can easily release him or stomach him for the year. Sort of like Jeff Green.
It is a short-term move to fill a roster spot and maybe create some competition at point guard. Burke fits the length and versatility profile better. But his poor defense throughout his career seems to counteract those supposed advantages.
The NBA’s free agency moratorium is lifted at noon on Thursday. It is yet to be seen whether the Magic are truly going after Burke and whether they will actually sign him.