1:28pm: The Magic have officially signed Carter-Williams to a 10-day contract, the team announced today in a press release.
1:16pm: The Magic will add some depth at the point guard position by signing free agent Michael Carter-Williams to a 10-day contract, reports Josh Robbins of The Athletic (via Twitter). Orlando has a full 15-man roster, but won’t need to waive anyone to make room for Carter-Williams, as the team has been granted a hardship exception, per Robbins.
An NBA team can apply for an extra roster spot via the hardship provision when it has four players who have missed at least three games each and are expected to remain sidelined for the next two weeks. For Orlando, Markelle Fultz, Mohamed Bamba, and Timofey Mozgov remain on the shelf with long-term injuries. With Isaiah Briscoe out as well due to knee surgery, the Magic meet the requirements for that 16th roster spot.
Carter-Williams, a former Rookie of the Year, signed with the Rockets during the 2018 offseason, but wasn’t a great fit in Houston, appearing in just 16 games (9.1 MPG) for Mike D’Antoni‘s club before he was traded to the Bulls and subsequently waived in January. He has been a free agent since then.
Since breaking into the league in 2013/14, Carter-Williams’ career has trended in the wrong direction — he has seen his playing time and his scoring numbers decline in each of his five seasons since winning that Rookie of the Year award. Still, the Magic could be a good short-term fit for the 27-year-old.
Carter-Williams will reunite with Steve Clifford, his head coach last season in Charlotte. And with Briscoe unavailable, there could be point guard minutes available in Orlando behind starter D.J. Augustin. Jerian Grant has handled those minutes in Briscoe’s absence and held the backup job earlier in the season, but his play has been up and down and the Magic have struggled with him on the floor. The club has a -7.8 net rating when Grant plays, compared to a +1.9 rating when he sits.
The Magic remain in the hunt for a playoff spot in the East, just 1.5 games behind Miami for the No. 8 seed. If they so desire, they’ll be able to sign MCW to a second 10-day contract without waiving anyone once this deal ends, assuming none of those injured players are ready to return.
Carter-Williams will earn $99,290 on his 10-day deal, which will carry a cap hit of $85,458.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.