Magic Sign Rashad Vaughn to 10-Day Contract
By John Denton
Feb. 20, 2018
ORLANDO – In a move designed to fortify their roster for the stretch run of the season, the Orlando Magic have signed guard Rashad Vaughn to a 10-day contract.
The Vaughn signing was necessitated by Orlando’s trading of point guard Elfrid Payton to the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 8. The Magic received a second-round pick as compensation for Payton.
Vaughn, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound combo guard, was the 17th overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft by Milwaukee when John Hammond – now the Magic’s GM – was GM for the Bucks. He has played 23 games this season with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets, averaging 2.6 points in 7.7 minutes per game.
``We built a relationship from our time in Milwaukee and to be here with (Hammond) again and see him, it’s definitely good,’’ Vaughn said. ``It’s very important to be able to be here and get a chance with a great team and a great organization.’’
Vaughn will be eligible to play Thursday night when the Magic face the New York Knicks at the Amway Center. If they so choose, the Magic can sign Vaughn for as many as two 10-day contracts before they must decide whether to waive him or keep him for the remainder of the season.
While the addition of Vaughn doesn’t address the Magic’s need at point guard, it does add to the team’s shooting. Magic head coach Frank Vogel, who had some of the team’s coaches and younger players stay after practice to run through some of the offensive sets for Vaughn, said he’s already been impressed with the guard’s ability to knock down shots.
Vaughn, who will wear No. 20 with the Magic, will back up Jonathon Simmons, Evan Fournier and Shelvin Mack at shooting guard.
``He’s got a great looking shot, he really does,’’ Vogel added. ``That’s what this league is about nowadays, and we’re going to see how he defends and play-makes and how he can pick up the plays and schemes and all of that stuff that’s a part of a 10-day evaluation. But he can definitely shoot the ball.
``It’s really about bringing talent into our franchise, our program and if we need to go to a third point guard, we’ll look at Wes (Iwundu),’’ Vogel added. ``We have ball-handling (power forward) and (Jonathon Simmons) has played some point, but D.J. and Shelvin will handle the bulk of it, but we have some directions we can go.’’
Vaughn, 21, was traded from Milwaukee to Brooklyn on Feb. 5 and then was dealt from Brooklyn to New Orleans on Feb. 8. Two days later, he was waived in a cost-cutting move by the Pelicans. In his NBA career, Vaughn has 134 games with eight starts. He’s averaged 3.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per game.
``I was behind some really great guards and even though it didn’t work out and I didn’t get the minutes I was still blessed to be able to be behind those guys and learn from them,’’ Vaughn said, referring to Milwaukee standouts Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. ``Khris is somebody who took me under his wing and I watched him every day and I was able to see how he works to be the player that he is. I kind of honed that and took it in stride and applied that to my routine and made it work.’’
In college, he spent just one season at UNLV where he averaged 17.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 38.3 percent from 3-point range. That production earned him the 2014-15 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year award and honorable-mention all-conference honors. Because he is still young, Vaughn feels that he still has plenty to show in his game and he hopes to become a big hit with the Magic.
``I think my ability to shoot the ball really jumps (out), but there’s so much more to my game that I have that maybe a lot of people don’t know,’’ Vaughn said. ``With this offense, I think I’ll be able to show different aspects of my game. … This is a part of the game, but the good thing is I’m still young. I’ve just been growing a lot and doing different things. Being around so many different people, this has just been a part of the process and I’m loving it.’’
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