Former Rookie Of The Year Michael Carter-Williams has signed a two-year deal to come back to play for the Orlando Magic.
The second year of the deal having a team option per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Carter-Williams, now 31-years-old, will be added to the backcourt to help bolster a Play-In chase for the franchise.
After a tough loss to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night, it is hoped the veteran experience of Michael Carter-Williams will pay dividends for this young Orlando Magic core.
Carter-Williams will become the oldest player on the roster, replacing that role from former Magic and current Phoenix Suns guard, Terrence Ross. Carter-Williams now represents the oldest player on this young Magic team and the only player on the roster older than 30 years old.
In his three seasons with the Magic, Carter-Williams appeared in 88 total games and averaged 7.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal.
Magic fans will remember Carter-Williams from his spirited play during the franchise’s last playoff run in 2018-19. A period in which he average six points, four rebounds and two assists per game in the 2019 first-round series against the eventual champion Toronto Raptors.
This most notable performance included a fiery performance in Game 1 of that series when he was hit in the nose, bloodied, and yelled at the referees for a flagrant call to be award.
The Magic would win that game, but bow out of the postseason in five to the Raptors. It is hoped that Carter-Williams can bring some intensity and experience to a young group that will surely benefit from his presence.
This move is also further proof the front office is going all in on trying to make the Play-in, leaving behind any doubt that a late race to the bottom of the standings was in the cards.
Adding Carter-Williams and sending a young player with more offensive upside like Caleb Houstan down to the G-League when possible is being done to try and maximize their win total now.
Unlikely to see substantial playing time behind Markelle Fultz, Gary Harris, Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs however, Michael Carter-Williams will be welcomed as an on and off the court presence.
His experience as a talented rookie could help their young star Paolo Banchero finish strong after struggling for consistency some in the last six weeks.
The Magic have unfortunately been hit by injuries plenty in the past, and Carter-Williams is insurance as somebody who knows the franchise and some of the players if a guy like Fultz goes down for any meaningful amount of time.
His pass-first, defensive mindset will surely get fans onboard with how hard he plays, and it will be a bonus to have at the practice facility as well.
Yet despite this obvious plus, it is clear the Magic still struggle for shooting on a consistent basis, and Carter-Williams is not going to help in that area.
If anything any time he spends on the court, the offensive rating is sure to plummet even further than it already has. Which makes adding a player like Carter-Williams puzzling from the standpoint of trying to make the roster as complete as it can be.
Head coach Jamahl Mosley has never worked with the player before either, and there is the potential there for the two to really gel, and for the Magic to profit from this.
This is a move that makes sense, and that it the organization will be hoping gets them over the line in some of the close contests that will come their way throughout the remainder of the regular season.