The Magic have officially released injured point guard Isaiah Briscoe, the team announced today in a press release. The move opens a spot on Michael Carter-Williams, who has been re-signed for the rest of the season and will now be playoff-eligible if Orlando makes the postseason.
It’s a tough break for Briscoe, who had assumed backup point guard duties for the Magic and had been holding his own before undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus last month. For the season, the 22-year-old out of Kentucky averaged 3.5 PPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.9 RPG in 39 games (14.3 MPG).
Carter-Williams had spent 20 days (two 10-day contracts) on the Magic’s roster as a 16th man — the injury-plagued club was allowed to add an extra player because it qualified for a hardship provision. However, MCW wouldn’t have been able to participate in the playoffs if he were re-signed with the hardship provision and Orlando didn’t waive another player.
The Magic’s decision was believed to come down to Briscoe vs. Jerian Grant. While Briscoe had supplanted Grant as the team’s backup point guard prior to his injury, the fact that Grant is healthy now probably gave him the upper hand. Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports tweets that the Magic would like to re-sign Briscoe this summer if possible.
Briscoe’s contract with Orlando includes non-guaranteed salaries for 2019/20 and 2020/21, so he could be an attractive target for teams interested in placing a waiver claim. Because he signed a three-year contract instead of a two-year deal though, he’s ineligible to be claimed using the minimum salary exception. A team would need to use a trade exception or cap room to put in a claim. If he clears waivers, he’ll become a free agent on Saturday.