MCW - One Year At A Time
Michael Carter-Williams, a fighter by all definitions. After earning Rookie of The Year (ROY) honors after his first season in the NBA things quickly took a downhill trend for his NBA career. After bouncing around 5 teams and finding himself out of the NBA after being waived by the Bulls in the early part of 2019 it seemed as though the career that once looked promising would fade to darkness after just 8 seasons. Carter-Williams discussed on the Pod Squad Podcast that he did battle with depression, but continued to work out and keep himself in shape so that if that call ever came he’d be ready to take full advantage of the opportunity. Just as the season passed the all-star break MCW received the call that he had been craving for. Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford gave Michael a call. He simply asked if he was in shape. As if meant to be, MCW was healthy, in shape and ready to contribute in any way possible for the Orlando Magic squad.
Many Magic fans will tell you that the incredible run toward the postseason during the 18-19 season was heavily contributed to by the once forgotten Michael Carter-Williams. His effort on defense first exhibited during his small squabble with Atlanta’s Trey Young on March 17th leading the Magic to a victory which would turn into 10-12 run over the last month of the NBA regular season. His defensive energy was contagious, his help defense was intuitive and aggressive. He made phenomenal transitional plays, and his ability to get others involved was well received. During this time MCW earned himself 2 10-day contracts and earned himself a playoff spot by the Magic waving Isaiah Briscoe who was injured at the time. Carter-Williams has been a fighter throughout his career and has proven valuable in the locker room and on the court. MCW is a player who does not mind doing the dirty work, jawing with opponents and getting his teammates involved.
Things got interesting halfway through day one of Free Agency when MCW posted a picture of himself in a magic jersey. The Magic had at the time re-signed Terrence Ross and Nikola Vucevic, they also brought in Al-Farouq Aminu. With all but $475K left to spend and a Bi-Annual Exception worth $3.4 Million (Orlando Sentinel) and Khem Birch being extended a qualifying offer days earlier it seemed as though MCW would be the odd man out but once more his character, and perseverance shined through. On July 1st Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Orlando Magic have signed MCW to a one year deal.
This may mean that Khem Birch will not be returning to the city beautiful as there is one roster spot left and Orlando is in need of shooting. As a Magic fan, I can say that this signing of MCW is interesting, his effort defensively, and ability to get others involved is needed but he did also have moments last year where he hesitated to shoot, and deferred to others at times that he could’ve taken a good shot. Interesting signing by Orlando, this next season will prove how MCW’s game has evolved over the summer and what the continuity on the team does for confidence in his shot.
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