Markelle Fultz – D.J. Augustin – Michael Carter-Williams
At the beginning of the season, point guard felt about as uncertain as any position on the Orlando Magic. Really this spot has been unsettled ever since Darrell Armstrong left in free agency in 2003 with so many fans constantly seeking a replacement for the always-solid Jameer Nelson.
The Magic do not have a great track record at point guard. And entering the year nobody knew what they might get out of Markelle Fultz and both D.J. Augustin and Michael Carter-Williams were entering contract years.
Somehow, the Magic came out of this whole season feeling like they have a long-term option at point guard in Markelle Fultz.
His numbers have been pretty pedestrian. But for a player essentially playing his rookie year, his 12.1 points per game and 5.2 assists per game are still fairly impressive. Especially considering he was not able to play basketball until August.
The Magic have managed everything about Fultz perfectly to this point. If anything, fans are eager to see more of him and the team has had to hold the line and stick to their development and trust plan.
To be sure, the Magic expect Fultz to be a part of the Magic’s future for some time.
The guards behind him are the mystery.
Coach Steve Clifford has always liked playing two point guards for certain stretches of the game. So it will be important the Magic have three rotation-caliber point guards available. Not to mention because Fultz’s thoracic outlet syndrome never really goes away. He could have a flare-up and need to rest to get his body right in the future.
D.J. Augustin has been a steady hand for the Magic throughout his four years in Orlando, but especially the last two. But he will be a free agent this offseason. Orlando has to consider freeing up some salary somewhere and Augustin does not quite fit the Magic’s preferred style of using length and athleticism.
It would be hard to let Augustin go because of how much consistency he provides the team.
Michael Carter-Williams will also be a free agent this offseason. He has gotten nothing but glowing reviews from Clifford for his work ethic and defensive energy. Clifford often calls him one of the elite defensive players in the league.
While Carter-Williams may not be the same offensive maestro as Augustin, he is capable of running the point and getting into the lane.
It seems hard to believe the Magic will be able to retain both players (the Magic only have early Bird Rights on Carter-Williams). So they probably will need to find a third point guard on the market or draft one to give the team the depth it desires.
While the Magic might be settled with a long-term starter, the Magic have to boost the bench this offseason if they choose to let one or both of these players walk.