The Orlando Magic won the JJ Redick trade. There’s no doubt about that. The Magic flipped an average rental player for Tobias Harris, a legitimate (if surprising) building block. If you squint your eyes 5 years into the future, you can envision Harris as a Carmelo Anthony clone, hopefully with better shot selection. But in case you forgot, the Magic got more than in return than just Harris. They also acquired former 2nd round pick Doron Lamb, a guard prospect out of Kentucky with legitimate shooting range. Or so they thought.
In his second year in the league, Lamb has regressed badly. In 7.9 minutes per game, he’s scoring only 1.7 points on 35.7% shooting and his PER is a dreadful 4.8. Even more concerning, his three point shooting has all but disappeared. After hitting over 37% of his threes as a rookie, he’s only making 23.5% this season. It’s hard to believe this is the same player who hit 47.5% of his threes in college. His shooting is his only NBA-caliber skill, and if that’s gone, soon he’ll be gone too.
Why the drop off? Lamb is seems to be suffering from a crisis of confidence. He’s playing five less minutes per game this year and it’s clear that Vaughn doesn’t trust him. As a young player, that’s hard to ignore. Vaughn’s erratic rotations have hurt many of the Magic’s young players this season, but none more than Lamb.
Unfortunately the damage may already be done. With Arron Afflalo out versus the Denver Nuggets last night, Doron Lamb got his first extended run of the season. In 32 minutes he went 3-12 from the field including 1-5 from three point range. Equally concerning? He only shot two free throws. His 4 rebounds and 2 assists were nice but not nearly enough to cover his offensive and defensive deficiencies. This is a young player who looks uncomfortable on both ends of the floor. After that performance he won’t be playing that much again for a long time, if ever. He has been replaced by E’Twaun Moore as the back-up guard prospect.
After his regression, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Magic cut Lamb this off-season to make room a fresher prospect. Swallowing the $915,243 the team owes him next season may be a small price to pay for an extra roster spot.
What do you think? Can Doron Lamb still salvage his NBA career? Let us know in the comments section below.