The Orlando Magic entered this offseason with D.J. Augustin as the only point guard on the roster. The recent acquisition of Jerian Grant and the two-way contract of Troy Caupain, however, provides some much needed depth in their guard rotation.
Heading into 2018-2019, who is the best option to run the point?
Give Jerian Grant the Rock
Orlando acquired the 6’4″ combo guard in a three-team deal this offseason — along with Timofey Mozgov — in exchange for shipping out Bismack Biyombo and two future second-round picks.
Given the roster’s current makeup, it’s clear Grant was the main focus of the deal. At just 25 years of age, Grant could provide what the Magic need — a reliable guard who can defend multiple positions.
Head coach Steve Clifford thinks the third-year guard is exactly what the team needs.
“In today’s NBA, having versatility and being able to play two positions is important,’’ Clifford said. “At [Grant’s] size, it is possible that he could play the [point guard position] and play with some with D.J. [Augustin] in some situations if he can guard [shooting guards].”
One thing to note is that — comparatively — Grant is already a net positive in pick-and-roll situations. Last season, he averaged 0.97 points per possession compared to Elfrid Payton‘s 0.86.
The question, though, is whether or not he can help set up the offense consistently. His numbers suggest there’s plenty of potential for that.
Grant was the No. 19 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, and averaged 8.4 points, 4.6 assists and 2.3 rebounds for the Chicago Bulls last year.
Don’t Expect Much Help from Free Agency
Jeff Weltman, Magic President of Basketball Operations, made a statement this week to the Orlando Sentinel that — while the team does have some financial flexibility — they will not be looking to add any more pieces via free agency.
“We’re in a pretty good place with our financial flexibility, all things considered, but the roster is done as we sit here today,” Weltman said. “We don’t feel like there are any holes that we need to shore up. We can always get better, and we’ll always be on the lookout for ways to get better. At this point, that would come probably more in the form of a trade if we were to do anything for the remainder of the summer.”
The roster currently stands at 14 players with fully-or-partially guaranteed contracts.