Add C.J. Wilcox to the Orlando Magic’s growing list of blown opportunities. Rather than paying the guard a little over $2 million next season, which will be his fourth in the NBA, the Magic have declined Wilcox’s fourth-year rookie-scale option. That means he will be an unrestricted free agent next offseason.
Wilcox shot 38.1 percent from the three-point line in his first two NBA seasons, and he is a decent driver. The biggest knocks on the 25-year-old are he still settles for too many long twos, and his defense is average at best.
But Dan Feldman of NBC Sports writes that it is extremely silly to give up on the youngster, especially at such a bargain price.
“I’m not ready to write off the 25-year-old, though, to date, he has not been worth his option-year salary,” Feldman wrote in a column. “He’s so cheap, I probably would’ve exercised his team option, but the Magic have more information than I do after evaluating him throughout training camp.
“Wilcox joins Adreian Payne, James Young andTyler Ennis as the players who had their fourth-year options declined this fall while remaining on a team. Between the four, I bet at least one makes his team regret the decision.”
Wilcox is off to a slow start this season. His minutes in Orlando have increased, but he is averaging fewer points and has only shot 25.0 percent from the 3-point line. Of course, the Magic have played just two games, so it’s an extremely small sample size.
Wilcox joins Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris, Channing Frye and Shabazz Napier as other youngsters that Feldman believes the Magic gave up on too early.