Chris Haynes of Comcast Sportsnet Northwest in Portland, Ore., reports the Magic have agreed to terms with point guard Ronnie Price. Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel and Max Luckan of Crossover Chronicles confirmed this report.
Price played in 39 games last year with the Trail Blazers before he was waived to make room for Eric Maynor in a mid-season trade. He averaged 2.7 points per game, shooting 32.5 percent from the floor and 25.6 percent from beyond the arc. In his 13.1 minutes per game, Price dished out nearly two assists per contest and posted a solid 5.2 assists per 36 minutes.
Price gives the Magic a second "pure" point guard behind Jameer Nelson, but it appears this signing is the insurance point guard many teams like to have. It does not seem likely Price would get lots of playing time. Orlando already has converted point guards Victor Oladipo and E'Twaun Moore on the roster. They will likely compete for and/or split backup point guard duties this year (at least at the beginning of the season).
What makes the move somewhat puzzling for the Magic is that Price does not fit the general youth movement the franchise has embraced. Price is 30 years old and is an eight-year NBA pro. Although he has not reached even 41 games played the last two seasons and has never averaged more than 15 minutes per game, Price is a veteran compared to the other players on the Magic's roster.
This is, again, the kind of "kiddie pool" move the Magic were expected to do. Orlando wanted another point guard for the roster and, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, possibly another center. Price was likely signed to a minimum or non-guaranteed contract for one year so the Magic could keep cap flexibility entering the February trade deadline or 2014 free agency (or beyond).
Orlando is not expected to make very many other moves this summer. Certainly no major moves. Larry Ridley of WESH Channel 2 in Orlando reported after Summer League concluded that the Magic are likely not going to make any major trades involving one of their veteran players this offseason. Arron Afflalo, particularly, is likely to start the year with the Magic at the very least. That can always change.
As for Price, this could be an opportunity to show that he can still make an NBA rotation, albeit with the young Magic. He will be given every opportunity, it appears, in practice to crack the roster and the rotation and push Moore and Oladipo more into a shooting guard role rather than a point guard role.
More importantly, as the video above from the Portland Trail Blazers shows, Price fits the culture the Magic want to build of hard workers who play hard and add both on the court and off the court. He should be a good addition in that respect.