Slaughter still trying to make Magic

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By Josh Cook

Although A.J. Slaughter got the dreaded DNP (did not play), in the Orlando Magic’s second summer league game this week, the former Shelby County High School and Western Kentucky University standout could still have a decent chance of making the NBA team’s roster.

That’s due to Orlando’s overall lack of depth at point guard, which has been evident this week during the Pro Summer League in Orlando. Through three games (the Magic played one that finished after press time Thursday and will have another today) he had played just 15 minutes, 47 seconds, however, that was because Victor Oladipo (the recent No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft) and Doron Lamb (the former Kentucky shooting star who is entering his second year in the league) were getting most of the run at point guard, even though it’s not the natural position for either.

Slaughter, though, had played well in his limited time, scoring seven points, dishing out two assists (against two turnovers) and recording one steal. In his longest stint, Slaughter scored seven points (on 3-of-4 shooting, including 1 of 2 from 3-point range), while handing out two assists (against one turnover) and posting one steal in 11:10 in the Magic’s 94-80 loss to the Miami Heat on Tuesday.

Despite his lack of PT Slaughter has caught the eye of some of the team’s higher-ups, according to Josh Robbins, the Magic beat writer for the Orlando Sentinel.

“Magic officials have been pleased with Slaughter, 25, in summer-league practices, but his playing time has been limited in the exhibition games because the bulk of the time at point guard has gone to Oladipo and Doron Lamb,” Robbins wrote on his blog Thursday morning.

With veteran Jameer Nelson entrenched as the Magic’s starting point guard his backup will likely be either Oladipo or Lamb, especially after Orlando failed to acquire Eric Bledsoe (which was rumored to be a possibility). However both Oladipo and Lamb got dinged up in the Magic’s first three summer games (Oladipo rolled an ankle in Monday’s game against Oklahoma City, while Lamb banged his knee in Tuesday’s game against the Heat), further underscoring the importance that Orlando has depth at PG.

Robbins wrote that Slaughter, who has played three seasons overseas since finishing his career at Western, could be Orlando’s answer as the team’s third point guard.

“The Magic are likely to bring in a player for a minimum-level salary who can be a third point guard – a role similar to the one Ish Smith [a 6-foot- point guard from Wake Forest, who played 36 games with Orlando before finishing up in Milwaukee] played at the beginning of last season,” Robbins blogged Thursday.

So Slaughter’s chances of making the Magic’s roster might be fairly good. 


A few quick takes

  • Good to hear that Rupp Arena, the Taj Mahal of college basketball, could get a renovation. That place needs a makeover worse than Amanda Bynes.
  • Brad Stevens’ appearance at Rajon Rondo’s basketball camp in Louisville on Thursday was a great move by the new Boston Celtics coach to try to reach out to his star point guard. Stevens was very complimentary of Rondo during his introductory press conference in Boston, but I wonder how he’ll feel about him after coaching him for a while. Rondo isn’t exactly known for getting along well with his coaches (see Tubby Smith, Doc Rivers), there were reports that he and Rivers, the former C’s coach who recently bolted for the L.A. Clippers, nearly came to blows in the locker room at least once.
  • Marshall Henderson’s next stop, NBDL or j-a-i-l?