Examining Chris Duhon

After making him his target in free agency two summers ago, Magic General Manager finally reached an agreement with free agent point guard Chris Duhon. Duhon, 27, spent his last two seasons with the New York Knicks after playing his first four years with the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls originally drafted Duhon with the 38th overall selection in 2004 NBA Draft.

The Magic wanted to get younger at point guard but after chasing C.J. Watson last summer, they were unable to strike a deal and signed Jason Williams instead. Williams did a nice job as the backup (and in some cases the starter) but tired out down the stretch and was ineffective in the postseason. That should  have been expected from a guy who’s going to be 35 early next season and sat out the entire 2008-09 season.

The Magic flirted with C.J. Watson again and were reportedly interested in Steve Blake, but Watson is a restricted free agent and Blake came to an agreement with the Los Angeles Lakers.

After the jump, we’ll take a look at Duhon’s career numbers and see how he fits in with the Magic.

296 28.5 11.5 7.7 48.5% 52.4% 36.2%
5.1% 26.8% 18.4% 14.1% 108 108 .085

Signing Duhon to a 4-year, $15 million deal seems a little steep but that’s market value right now. If the Magic weren’t willing to go that far, someone else would have and the Magic may have been shut out in the search for a young point guard for the second consecutive season.

Duhon is a good floor leader and distributor, who has a pass-first mentality. He has a solid assist percentage but he really needs to cut down on his turnovers. For his career, he turns the ball over 18.4% of the time and turned it over 20.8% of the time last season. Playing for Mike D’Antoni in New York gives Duhon a leg up in Orlando because he’s so familiar with the pick-and-roll and has been effective when he runs the play. Playing on a team like Orlando should help Duhon lower that turnover percentage because he won’t be asked to do as much.

Jameer Nelson has had some injury issues over his career so it’s nice to have a backup who is capable of stepping into the starting lineup – Duhon has made 296 career starts.

Duhon isn’t much of a scorer but he can put the ball in the basket when he’s asked too. Although he had a poor season shooting-wise last year, Duhon has shot 36.2% from beyond the arc in his career and has a career effective field goal percentage of 48.5%.

Duhon’s individual defense is what should have Magic fans fairly happy with this signing. Too many times the Magic were abused by an opposing point guard and Duhon should help lower the numbers of opposing point guards.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor on the Fansided Front Page. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).

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Tags: C.j. Watson Chris Duhon Jameer Nelson Jason Williams Orlando Magic Steve Blake

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